Ex-PIMCO CEO and co-CIO Mohamed El-Erian has broken his silence on why he left the bond shop earlier this year.
Speaking on Bloomberg TV Wednesday, the economist said he wanted to focus on a “portfolio of part-time activities” and spend more time with his family. “It was time for me to do something different … I was there 14 years,” he said.
“When your daughter comes to you, as mine did about a year ago, with a list of 22 … specific events that were important to her that I had missed… that served as a wakeup call,” El-Erian said.
PIMCO co-founder Bill Gross went public with his views on El-Erian’s departure in a Bloomberg BusinessWeek story that appeared two weeks ago.
In that article, Gross explained that he and his team pleaded with El-Erian not to leave. “I begged, as much as a man in my position can beg,” he said. “I didn’t get on my knees, but — ‘Don’t leave. What are you doing? Don’t!’ And at some point it was, ‘All right, already.’ ”
Then, Gross and the shell-shocked PIMCO team had to tackle on El-Erian’s grueling globe-trotting schedule.
“We said, ‘What are we going to do now?’ So, I started to think about the things that he did—I’m not hopping on a plane and going to Abu Dhabi and going to Munich and London, I’m too old for that stuff! Who’s going to do that? You can’t leave, you’re the CEO who travels around the world and represents PIMCO! So we’re still getting used to that.”
In addition to operational issues, there was the turmoil tied to a February story in the Wall Street Journal, which discussed personality issues between the two executives, as well as investor outflows. “Then the aftermath,” Gross told Bloomberg. “I never expected that.”
While PIMCO continues to adjust, El-Erian gives Gross his full support.
“Bill is one of the world’s best investors …,” the economist said on TV. “He’s able to differentiate signals from noise and is committed to delivering value.”