Now that Bill Gross, Wall Street’s “Bond King” has stepped down from PIMCO, the massive firm he founded, it’s time for someone to take his place.
After all, you can’t have a Kingdom without a King, and based on what money managers are telling Business Insider, the next person in line for the throne is clear — it’s DoubleLine’s Jeff Gundlach.
“Unofficially, Jeff has already been the bond king for a while,” said Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management. “Whether we’re measuring by getting curve right or inflows. Maybe today just makes it official.”
What happened today is that Gross not only left his firm for a smaller shop, but also considered joining Gundlach’s firm. It didn’t work out.
“I am CEO of the firm. We talked about working together, but I was never going to be the ‘co-guy,'” Gundlach told Reuters. “I am CEO. That was never going to happen.”
That alone, say some, is enough to confirm Gundlach’s ascendancy.
Of course, that is not all there is. Gross stepped down because he’s had a troubled year both with investing and managing his firm. On the investing side, it’s no secret that PIMCO has seen outflows. Ending in August, Gross’ flagship fund, the PIMCO Total Return Fund, saw 16 straight months of investor redemptions totaling $US68 billion, collectively.
Gundlach, on the other hand, has seen money pouring in. In August DoubleLine’s assets hit over $US40 billion, with $US598 million in net flows. The fund ended 2013 with just over $US35 billion in assets.
“I think assets will continue to flow into DoubleLine,” said one institutional money manager.
Flows have been steady since the financial crisis, and show no signs of abating.
Gundlach is a former punk rocker with an extensive art collection. He was inspired to go to Wall Street after watching an episode of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and started DoubleLine after he was fired from a Rockstar position at another bond firm, TCW. Not necessarily your classic Wall Street story.
But when he speaks, Wall Street pays attention.
“Gundlach has really stolen Gross’ thunder in recent years, and he looks all the stronger now,” said Dallas based money manager Charles Sizemore. “The king is dead, long live the king!”