Bloomberg News reports that at investment committee meetings in April and May, four of his six newly appointed deputy investment chiefs questioned whether their boss, manager of the world’s biggest bond fund and an investing legend, was too pessimistic about the economy. Mark Kiesel, Pimco’s head of corporate bonds, said that the U.S. energy industry would help propel faster growth than expected and that employment was stronger than his colleagues were seeing, according to four people familiar with the matter.
The debate, at a firm where dissidents in the past faced mockery or worse if they challenged the bond king’s views, had been encouraged by Gross himself, who has been battling criticism of his autocratic leadership style since the surprise resignation of his former heir apparent Mohamed El-Erian in January. Yet his dissenters may also have been emboldened for another reason: most of them - Kiesel, mortgage expert Daniel Ivascyn and Europe chief Andrew Balls - are beating a majority of rivals this year. Gross, 70, is trailing peers in his main fund for a third year in four.
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