By Sunny Oh
After four years at Janus Henderson /zigman2/quotes/200651900/composite JHG +2.27% , legendary bond-fund manager Bill Gross will retire from the investment firm.
Gross, 74, plans to manage his personal assets and his charity and will leave the firm March 1, according to a Janus news release.
“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 said in the news release. “So many friends and associates at my two firms to thank – nothing is possible without a team working together with a common interest. I’ve been fortunate to have had that. And thank you to all of my past clients for their trust and support.”
Once dubbed the “bond king,” Gross had helped found Pacific Investment Management Company, or Pimco, the largest bond fund manager in the world. He later moved on to Janus after a high-profile management dispute to manage its Unconstrained Bond Fund /zigman2/quotes/206733480/realtime JUCIX 0.00% .
Gross’ views were widely solicited by investors who took stock in his market-beating returns when he ran Pimco’s multibillion dollar Total Return Fund /zigman2/quotes/206986610/realtime PTTRX 0.00% earlier in his career.
His tenure at Janus, however, has been more spotty. In the past few years, the fund has suffered a raft of outflows after his fund underperformed its benchmark. By the end of last year, the fund’s assets have shrunk to $950 million after briefly climbing above $2 billion in 2018, data from Morningstar shows.
“A retirement of an icon is always news but since he left Pimco under duress a few years ago and his new fund never really took off, [there’s been] no market impact,” said Steven Ricchiuto, U.S. chief economist for Mizuho Securities.
Last year, Janus Henderson CEO, Richard Weil said Gross had “been wrong and wrong badly in the short term. And he’s accountable and we’re accountable for that.”
Janus said management of Gross’s fund would be assumed by the firm’s global macro fixed income team that has supported Gross over the past four years, with Nick Maroutsos, co-head of global bonds, set to become portfolio manager effective Feb. 15 to assist in the transition. Effective Feb. 15, the Global Unconstrained Bond funds domiciled in the U.S. and Ireland will be renamed Absolute Return Income Opportunities, Janus said.