William H. Gross
Founder and managing director, Pacific Investment
Management Co., Newport Beach, Calif.
Entering the investment field when bonds were held until maturity, Bill Gross brought the new East Coast style of trading bonds out west.
Mr. Gross, through his work at PIMCO, is credited with bringing macroeconomic concepts to the management of fixed-income assets, making bond trading for institutional investors more sophisticated and less based on market timing. He also broadened the kinds of securities purchased for institutional pension plans, adding lower-grade bonds, mortgages, mortgage-backed securities and non-U.S. bonds to the mix.
Through his writings, Mr. Gross has spoken out on economic policies and business practices with which he disagreed. For example, he challenged the current Bush administration's policies on spending. He also criticized General Electric Co. for the nature of its earnings.
He even warned investors to stay clear of bond investing in the second quarter of the 2003.
When Allianz AG, Munich, bought 70% of PIMCO Advisors Holding LP, Newport Beach, Calif., for $3.5 billion in July 1999, the European insurer wanted to "get hold of Bill Gross and his extraordinary abilities," John H. Temple, a managing director at Cambridge International, said in a Jan. 10, 2000, Pensions & Investments story.
"He has been very innovative on a large institutional scale," said Gifford Fong, editor of the Journal of Investment Management. "He has been most successful at this, and that certainly distinguishes him."