Posts filed under “Corporate Management”
Bill Gross, founder of Pimco, and its chief investment officer for the past 40 or so years, resigned last week. Rumor has it that he was but two steps ahead of a mutinous gang, swords out, planning to make him walk the plank. Gross was too quick and before the mutineers could force him, he jumped ship — and landed at Janus Capital. There, we surmise, he was given a slug of equity and a free hand to run a smaller, more nimble fund.
On his way out Pimco, Gross penned a heartfelt farewell letter to his former colleagues. But so great was his haste that he never hit “send.”
Fortunately for you, dear reader, we managed to get our hands on a copy of that e-mail, which we reproduce below and without further comment:
I can add colours to the chameleon,
Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
And set the murderous Machiavel to school.
-Henry VI, Part III
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Co-workers,
For the past 43 years, Pacific Investment Management Co. has been my home, as well as my pride and joy. With great sadness, I must bid her adieu, not because I want to leave, but because I must. It is the natural order of things for all seasons to change; for the next generation must be given its chance. A new epoch is upon us. Ashes to ashes . . . .
All those reasons — plus truth be told, an imminent palace coup — meant it was time for me to go.
Before I depart, however, I offer you this final Investment Outlook, my last IO for you to consider. No cats, no “Man in the Mirror,” just a few thoughts for you to reflect upon as the next era — a newer new normal — begins.
I co-founded PIMCO in 1971, starting with a mere $12 million in assets. Who could have imagined what the company would become during the ensuing 43 years? After four decades as founder, fund manager and mostly as CIO, I guided this firm to managing more than $1.97 trillion in client assets. When I sold the 70 percent stake not held by Pacific Life Insurance Co. to Allianz SE in 2000, the company had a value of $4.7 billion.
Not too shabby a track record. I daresay I must have gotten one or two things right during that period.
Not that you would know it by the recent press coverage, nor by the whispers in the hallways of Pimco. The immense wealth I helped to create for my colleagues, partners and clients over all that time meant nothing, once Machiavelli’s stratagems were put into play.
There is a standard sequence of events for all insurrections, and this one was no different. It included the favored tactics: A public character assassination, the quiet intimations that I had lost it (erratic behavior, dark glasses at a presentation, an elegy to my cat Bob). Add to that a break with a trusted associate, which implied something nefarious about that behavior (How did Mohamed manage to resign from Pimco, yet stay employed at Allianz? I couldn’t pull that one off).
Yesterday, we looked at why bankers weren’t busted for crimes committed during the financial crisis. Political corruption, prosecutorial malfeasance, rewritten legislation and cowardice on the part of government officials were among the many reasons. But I saved the biggest reason so many financial felons escaped justice for today: They dumped the cost of their criminal…Read More
Andrew Lapthorne, a quantitative strategist at Societe Generale SA, recently looked at the correlation between business investment and individual stock prices, in a report titled “How does too much or too little investment affect a company’s stock price?”. Some of their results were surprising: Stocks of companies that over- or underinvest get punished in…Read More
The jury is out as to how much of the Burger King-Tim Horton merger is driven by the desire for tax savings. So far, the range seems to be modestly to not very much. The Los Angeles Times noted “Burger King’s overall effective tax rate in 2013 was 27.5%, according to its annual report. Tim…Read More
I love this article: F-Bombs Tolerated in Recession Cause CEOs Trouble Later It turns out that public profanity among top executives is sensitive to economic conditions, according to a Bloomberg News review of thousands of CEO calls with investors and analysts from 2004 to last month. It spiked in the aftermath of the recession in…Read More