Pimco founder Bill Gross quits for Janus

Pimco says it has a succession plan to replace founder and bond veteran Bill Gross, although it is still mum on the details.

Gross is leaving the firm to join Janus Capital to manage the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond fund and related strategies.

US asset manager Pimco, which is part of the Allianz Group, says it will confirm its new chief investment officer shortly, but gave no definite timeframe.

Pimco chief executive Douglas Hodge says the firm is grateful for all that Gross contributed to the business since founding it in 1971.

However, “over the course of this year it became increasingly clear that the firm’s leadership and Bill have fundamental differences about how to take PIMCO forward,” he adds.

Gross has given up the reins of the company’s flagship – and world’s largest – bond fund, the $220bn (£135bn) Pimco Total Return, with his departure.

Pimco has been building a succession plan “for some time” and is prepared to make a seamless transition in the portfolios’ management, Hodge says.

The firm has a succession plan in place and its Management Board, comprised of its Managing Directors, will confirm shortly the election of a new Chief Investment Officer. Relevant portfolio management assignments will also be announced at that time.

Gross will join the Janus global asset allocation team and joins the business on Monday before beginning fund management on 6 October.

The company’s share price had leapt 30 per cent to $14.50 at 4.25pm Friday.

He currently manages the $220bn Pimco Total Return fund, the world’s largest bond fund, at the business which he founded in 1971.

Janus chief executive Richard Weil says: “Bill Gross has an exemplary track record with decades of success and he will offer an exceptional approach to navigating today’s increasingly risky markets with a focus on macro, unconstrained strategies. His involvement provides Janus a unique opportunity to offer strategies and products that are highly complementary to those already managed by our credit-based fixed income team.”

Gross says: “I chose Janus as my next home because of my long standing relationship with and respect for CEO Dick Weil and my desire to get back to spending the bulk of my day managing client assets.”

Earlier this week it was revealed the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Pimco artificially boosted the returns of its $3.6bn (£2.2bn) Total Return exchange traded fund.