Is Bill Gross Still the Bond King?

As fund manager Bill Gross nears the third anniversary of his dramatic departure from PIMCO (which he co-founded and built into the world’s largest fund manager), his performance has been so-so, according to a recent article in Bloomberg.

“Three years,” the article says, “is an important milestone for a money manager, because that’s when many financial advisers and institutional investors decide his track record is long enough to be meaningful.”

While he managed the Pimco Total Return fund from 1999 to 2014, it outperformed 96% of its peers (data from Morningstar). His current fund (Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund) has returned an average of 2.3% annually which, the article says, is “middle of the pack among alternative fixed-income funds ranked by Bloomberg.”

The article reports that, in May, Gross described his performance: “Sophisticated investors look at that and say, ‘Gross is really adding alpha here,’ and it’s true.”

The article chronicles the contentious ousting of Gross from Pimco and his subsequent lawsuit against them (which was settled this year). Of his current position with Janus, Gross said, “Is it the same as a block and a half down the street in terms of size? Oh no, but I’ve grown accustomed to my face.”