Tags: Mohamed El-Erian | Pimco | Bill Gross | Leave

El-Erian: I Left Pimco 'To Do Something Different'

By    |   Monday, 28 April 2014 10:05 AM


While media reports have stated that Mohamed El-Erian quit as CEO of Pimco last month because of friction with the firm's hard-charging co-founder Bill Gross, El-Erian puts it differently.

"It was a time for me to do something different," he told CNBC. El-Erian said he has great admiration for the people of Pimco and the work they do. "It was a really difficult decision" to leave, he said.

Still, El-Erian said he has grown since his departure from the powerhouse bond fund manager. "I'm now looking at a much broader perspective of things."

Editor's Note: Secret ‘250% Calendar’ Exposed — Free Video

He declined to discuss his relationship with Gross. "I look back with nothing but incredible admiration and a feeling of enormous privilege to have served there," El-Erian said when asked about Gross.

"Pimco is an incredible place, full of talent, full of incredible investors. It was a wonderful opportunity to be there," he said.

"I'm not going to talk about personal interaction with anybody. I'm a pretty private person."

El-Erian did offer a defense of his former colleague, the manager of Pimco Total Return, the world's largest bond fund. Gross is under fire for his intense management style and the weak recent performance of the Total Return fund.

The fund's return of negative 2 percent over the last year is in the bottom 5 percent of its peer group, according to Morningstar.

But Gross is one of the best investors around, El-Erian said. "Do you know any long-term investor who hasn't had a rough time?"

Turning to other economic topics, El-Erian also spoke briefly about stocks.  "Short-term fundamentals are improving," but valuations are high, he said.

"The key issue is less the cyclical [short-term] side. Absent Ukraine, the cyclical side is clearer, it's the secular [long-term] side that remains very fuzzy, at least for me."

El-Erian has been a prolific writer since he left Pimco. In a piece last week for Project Syndicate, El-Erian wrote that innovation in the Internet and social media will change and democratize finance just like it has changed journalism and entertainment.

"A broadly similar phenomenon [technological innovation] may be starting to play out in finance, via a democratization process that could gradually reconfigure a notable part of the institutional landscape, particularly in consumer finance, while challenging regulators to adapt," El-Erian explained.

The historical progression of a disruptive technology follows a regular pattern, he argued.

"A bold innovation suddenly lowers entry barriers for certain activities. Mechanisms emerge to enable a larger part of the population to participate in what is deemed desirable but, until now, had been hard to access," El-Erian noted.

Editor's Note: Secret ‘250% Calendar’ Exposed — Free Video

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While media reports have stated that Mohamed El-Erian quit as CEO of Pimco last month because of friction with the firm's hard-charging co-founder Bill Gross, El-Erian puts it differently.
Mohamed El-Erian, Pimco, Bill Gross, Leave
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2014-05-28
Monday, 28 April 2014 10:05 AM
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