Bill Gross speaks at the 2014 Morningstar Investment Conference (Photo: Jim Tweedie)

Fixed income fund manager Bill Gross, 74, is retiring from Janus Henderson on March 1, the firm said early Monday. Gross, who has been in the business for over 40 years, plans to focus on charitable work and managing his private assets.

The news comes about four and a half years after Gross’ dramatic departure from Pimco, the fixed-income giant he founded in 1971. When Gross left the firm, the flagship Pimco Total Return mutual fund had experienced large outflows (of over $23 billion) and the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating its related ETF product.

At the time, Jeff Tjornehoj, then head of Americas research at Lipper, said Gross had left due to “internal strife with executive management [that] grew too distracting for either side to bear.”

Tjornhoj added that Gross departed “before he could be fired. It was a watershed moment for the fund industry to see a titan such as Bill Gross lose control of one of the largest mutual funds in the world.”

Before this situation developed, Gross had received a number of industry awards, including the Morningstar Fixed Income Manager of the Decade for 2000 to 2009 and Fixed Income Manager of the Year for 1998, 2000 and 2007.

As for what’s next, the retired Gross will oversees the $390 million William, Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation, which donated about $21.5 million last year and about $800 million in the past 20 years.

“I look forward to continuing to work with my son Jeff and daughter Jennifer in identifying and supporting worthy and important causes that are creating better lives locally and around the world,” Gross said in a statement.

Janus says that portfolio management tasks for its Global Unconstrained Bond funds and related strategies will be assumed by the Global Macro Fixed Income team. Nick Maroutsos, co-head of Global Bonds and portfolio manager at Janus Henderson, will become portfolio manager of the Global Unconstrained Bond funds on Feb. 15.

On that date, the U.S. and Ireland-based Global Unconstrained Bond funds is being renamed the Absolute Return Income Opportunities, according to Janus.

“I’ve had a wonderful ride for over 40 years in my career — trying at all times to put client interests first while inventing and reinventing active bond management along the way,” Gross added.

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