Banking & Finance

Bill Gross Retirement Brings the End of an Era for the Bond King

It’s not all that often that kings get to retire. In the financial markets, sometimes kings do get to do so. Janus Henderson Group PLC (NYSE: JHG) has announced that Bill Gross has decided to retire from the firm and focus on managing his personal assets and private charitable foundation. Gross has been dubbed the “Bond King” for about two decades.

Gross is 74 years of age and has managed fixed income investments for over 40 years. He most recently managed the Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond funds and related strategies, including the firm’s institutional Total Return strategy.

While the time at Janus Henderson has not exactly been the same run that Gross had at PIMCO, which he co-founded in 1971, the financial media was always eager and willing to hear what he had to say at any given time. After a period of internal turmoil at PIMCO, he joined Janus Capital (prior to it becoming Janus Henderson) in 2014.

Some investors considered the views of Gross about the bond market and interest rates at certain times to be almost as valuable as when Warren Buffett offered his views on the stock market or the economy.

Monday’s press release indicated that Gross intends to be active in visiting prospective charitable organizations and also in managing his personal assets. Of his retirement, Gross said:

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. 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. I learned early on that without a client, there can be no franchise. I’m off – leaving this port for another destination with high hopes, sunny skies and smooth seas!

I look forward to continuing to work with my son Jeff and daughter Jennifer in identifying and supporting worthy and important causes that are creating better lives locally and around the world.

Shares of Janus Henderson were down 1.1% at $21.85 after Monday’s retirement announcement. That is a mere drop in the bucket compared to what happened to shares of Janus when it was announced that Gross was joining the company. Let’s just say that reaction was huge at the time.

When Gross exited PIMCO it also caused rapid price declines in many of the closed-end bond funds managed by the firm on fears of rapid mutual fund redemptions and share sales.

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