Pimco fund hit by pullouts, infighting

Clients withdrawing for 10 months running, feud between co-founder and partner results in latter's quitting, reports ALEXIS LEONDIS

[NEW YORK] BILL Gross, in an investment outlook in April entitled Man in the Mirror, questioned whether he was truly a great investor as he pondered his legacy in a new era of shrinking bond returns.

Almost a year later, his largest fund, the US$236 billion Pimco Total Return, is trailing rivals, prompting clients to pull money for 10 straight months, and the 69-year-old is entangled in an ugly split from his former heir apparent Mohamed El-Erian, 55, with allegations of phone surveillance and public humiliations - painting a picture of Mr Gross as an autocratic leader struggling to maintain his composure.

The departure of Mr El-Erian and other top executives in the past year has become a distraction...

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