Photo: St. Louis Fed
Mohamed El-Erian is the CEO and Co-CIO of PIMCO, the California-based fund giant with over $1.8 trillion in assets under management.”Mohamed is my heir apparent,” said PIMCO founder Bill Gross in a recent NY Times feature.
Without a doubt, El-Erian is one of the most influential people in global finance.
But who are his influences?
Business Insider recently asked Dr. El-Erian who and what shaped the way he thinks.
From very early on El-Erian learned the value of seeing things from multiple perspectives. And he continues to question his own beliefs today at PIMCO where they have a culture of “healthy and constructive paranoia.”
Thanks to Mohamed El-Erian for helping us with this feature.
'It started with my father who, from a very young age, stressed to his children the value of education and multiple perspectives.
'Education had been his passport out of an Egyptian village and to university in Cairo, a PhD from Columbia University, and to a subsequent career as an academic, a diplomat and a judge at the International Court of Justice.
'He was committed to giving his children even greater opportunities. And he did.'
'My father's influence was reinforced by the education I received at Cambridge University, where I did my first university degree, and my subsequent work environments (the IMF, Salomon and, especially, PIMCO).
'Economics at Cambridge in the late 1970s was not about seeing the world in a particular way. Instead, it was about gaining familiarity with four different schools of thought -- from neo-classical to Marxist, and for Keynesian to neo-Ricardian.'
'It was also fun to interact with some really smart professors and students, and do so in a culture that values intellectual exploration, innovative thinking, and thought leadership.
'This is very much the case at PIMCO today. And it is why I enjoy working here so much.'
'For this, my colleagues and I owe a big thank you to Bill Gross. From day one, over 40 years ago, he instilled and hardwired into PIMCO a practical culture of continuous questioning, exploration and discovery -- what we call healthy and constructive paranoia. And we do so by using both internal and external thought leaders and innovators.'
'In terms of books: Am still happily reading books analysing the global financial crisis and its economic, financial political, and social aftermath. This includes Bob Woodward's latest (The Price Of Politics) which I just started.'
El-Erian's thinking was initially shaped by his parents when he was a child, was shaped further as a young student, and continues to be shaped today as he is always questioning everything
'The bottom line is as follows: I have been very fortunate in my life to have parents, go to a university, work with people, and be influenced by ideas that value and promote diversity of thought and perspectives. Most importantly, this included the importance of always questioning, of pursuing cross-disciplinary work, of appreciating different cultural approaches, and of engaging in detailed scenario building that focusses both on baseline forecasts and also two-sided tail events.'
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