BILL GROSS TO EL-ERIAN: 'Hell No, You Can't Go'

Pimco bill grossYouTube/PIMCOPIMCO CIO Bill Gross.

Bill Gross, chief investment officer of PIMCO, told Bloomberg News in an interview that he was shocked and discouraged to hear that PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian would be departing the firm in March.

PIMCO’s parent company, Allianz, made the announcement yesterday. El-Erian will stay on as an adviser to Allianz after he leaves PIMCO.

Bloomberg News correspondents Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam and Alexis Leondis write:

Gross said he was shocked and discouraged when El-Erian told him several weeks ago that he wanted to leave to “recharge the batteries,” write a second book and spend more time with his family. He, along with the firm’s executive committee, tried to persuade El-Erian to change his mind, Gross said. El-Erian’s “When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of the Global Economy” came out in 2008.

“From our standpoint he was doing a great job,” Gross said in the phone interview. “The answer we gave him was basically, ‘Hell no, you can’t go.'”

Gross’s comments perhaps dispel one popular theory surrounding El-Erian’s departure — that the two didn’t see eye to eye.

However, a report by Financial Times correspondents Tom Braithwaite, Chris Newlands, and Alice Ross adds a bit more to the picture.

“A testy relationship with Mr. Gross, coupled with the extremely long days and demands of running the huge fund, convinced Mr. El-Erian it was time to step down, according to people familiar with the matter,” they write.

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