'Bond King' Gross puts $700 million into fund he runs

AP News
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Posted: Jan 22, 2015 7:10 PM
'Bond King' Gross puts $700 million into fund he runs

NEW YORK (AP) — Bill Gross is backing himself to the tune of more than $700 million.

That's how much of his own money the star fund manager has poured into the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, a fund that he has been running since October.

Gross, who co-founded the investment giant Pimco in 1971 and ran its $200 billion Total Return Fund, shocked the financial world in September when he left the huge money management firm to join Janus Capital, a smaller rival.

Dick Weil, Janus' CEO, disclosed the size of Gross' investment on a fourth-quarter earnings conference call with reporters Thursday. He said Gross' move should give the firm's clients confidence in the money manager's abilities.

"He fundamentally believes that investing alongside the clients aligns interests," said Weil, on a call with reporters. "He believes in eating his own cooking."

Janus' stock soared in September as investors anticipated that clients would follow Gross to his new company.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Gross' fund had attracted about $1.1 billion in October and November, though much of that money came from Gross himself.

For years, Gross trounced rivals with deft moves in and out of bonds, earning him the title "Bond King" and attracting hundreds of billions of dollars into his fund at Pimco. But his management style started to raise eyebrows toward the end of his tenure at Pimco after his heir apparent, Mohamed El-Erian, abruptly resigned in January of last year.

Weil told reporters that Janus attracted net inflows of $2 billion to its funds in the final three months of 2014, some it coming into stocks. It was the company's first period of net inflows since the second quarter of 2009.

"Obviously, it's much more than just Bill Gross," said Weil.

Janus' stock jumped $2.11, or 13 percent, to $18.39 on Thursday after the Denver-based company posted fourth-quarter earnings of 24 cents per share, which topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 20 cents.