Bill Gross, who reigned for decades as the Bond King at Pacific Investment Management Co., is retiring more than four years after jumping to Janus Henderson Group from the fixed-income giant he co-founded.
"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," Mr. Gross said in a statement Monday. "So many friends and associates at my two firms to thank — nothing is possible without a team working together with a common interest."
Mr. Gross, 74, has run the Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund since late 2014, shortly after he suddenly left PIMCO in the midst of a management clash. His annualized returns of less than 1% at Janus failed to live up to his stellar long-term record from the PIMCO era.
The billionaire money manager started his latest chapter with fanfare, compared by Janus Chief Executive Officer Dick Weil to Super Bowl-winning quarterback Peyton Manning, "that game-changing level of talent." Gross poured $700 million of his personal fortune into the unconstrained fund, but he failed to attract much outside money and his performance relative to peers deteriorated each year.
The go-anywhere fund lost almost 4% in 2018, sparking a stream of investor redemptions that drove assets below $1 billion from the peak of $2.24 billion early in the year. Mr. Gross, who in September 2018 reduced his own stake in the fund, had blamed losses during the year's first half partly on a misplaced bet that rates on U.S. Treasuries and German bunds would converge, a position he eventually scaled back.