Bill Gross, the 70-year-old king of bonds, rushed through the offices of his $2tril empire on a Friday morning distributing hand-written notes. He knew his reign was over.
Bloomberg News reports that the billionaire co-founder of Pacific Investment Management Co. and its undisputed ruler for four decades was about to be overthrown. So just before 5 a.m. that day, on September 26, he walked into Pimco’s headquarters and quietly placed notes on the desks of more than a dozen colleagues.
“Keep doing a great job,” Gross wrote on trade tickets used to buy and sell bonds. Of Pimco, he wrote: “Look after her.”
Gross’s exit - an event that, not long ago, would have seemed unthinkable - unleashed a crisis that Pimco is still trying to contain. His departure was followed by record withdrawals from the mutual fund he once ran, and which he built into the world’s biggest. Competitors swooped in, poaching clients from a firm that oversaw more assets in bonds than any competitor ever did. The government reached out to financial firms to ensure Gross’s departure didn’t destabilize the $100tril bond market.
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