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  • Writer's pictureJulie Skye

When was enough, enough...for you?

For me, it was 6 years ago when I read about legendary bond fund manager Bill Gross's rages and tantrums in Pimco Total Return Bond Fund's trading room. When employees finally began to admit what they had been going through, it wasn't too long before Pimco relieved Gross of his duties, leaving partner Mo hammed El-Erian at the helm. With a gazillion dollars in the fund, some said he could do no wrong. "Who cares if he is a bully and tyrant...he makes shareholders, and Pimco, a lot of money."

Well, portfolio managers call it "a tell." Something that is revealing. Something that if you miss it, you'll miss something really big. I read the article out loud to my colleagues in the trading room and all 4 said; "Gross can manage my money any day." I replied that any time a leader acted like would not last. Then I quietly deleted the fund from my client's approved list, replacing it with a fund that didn't make money for my clients at the expense of the fund's employees. When values have a place in your portfolio, then you gotta stand your ground.

So, today, things came full circle and this paragraph was familiar:

"It’s no secret that Gross’s personality led to clashes with others, as a 2014 article in The Wall Street Journal reported. It had some commentators even suggesting it was time for him to retire. Since that wasn’t going to happen, it seems only natural that he wound up with a fund that can go anywhere and do anything, un-beholden to just about anyone. At some point in all managers’ careers, they must realize they are not great any more. Alternatively, someone must tell them so. This has not been the case with Bill Gross or Janus Henderson.”

Sustainability is about being able to go the long haul and it is unique for each company. Today, this article "Bill Gross' Vanity Fund Mostly Harms Himself" beautifully illustrates why it is important to have someone at the helm that understands what sustainability is all about.

Read more about the fall of a legend and know...I know what to look for.

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