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Bill Gross's 44-Year-Old Successor Quits To Spend Time With Kids "While They Still Like Me"

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, May 14, 2021 - 07:20 PM

In the wake of Friday's underwhelming jobs number, the media has been hungry for stories about people quitting prestigious jobs - like the Goldman MD who reportedly quit after making a fortune off dogecoin.

The latest example comes courtesy of Bloomberg, which reported last night that the man who succeeded legendary 'Bond King' Bill Gross as the head of global bonds at Janus Henderson (which oversees some $400 billion) has abruptly quit the firm to 'spend more time with family'.

And while that familiar line is closely associated with departing executives looking to obscure the unsavory nature of their departure, in Nick Maroutsos' case, it's  not only genuine, but the subject of a profiled by Bloomberg as a prominent example of how "the YOLO economy" - as the NYT recently termed it - is inspiring high-paid employees to "take risks" and "embrace life".

Already wealthy at 44, Maroutsos said he planned to take time off from his career - at least a year, he said - to travel the country with his young children "while they still like me."

At just 44, Nick Maroutsos has one of the most elite jobs in money management: the head of global bonds at Janus Henderson Investors, a firm that oversees some $400 billion.

But he’s walking away from it in October to consider his second act and hit the road for cross-country trips with his young children while - as he put it - "they still like me."

Maroutsos, best known as the successor to former bond king Bill Gross, says he hasn’t quite decided what he’ll do next. But whatever it is, it will involve following his 14-year-old daughter to lacrosse tournaments around the country and spending time with his wife and two other young children.

The bond head is joining the legions of well-off Americans who are casting off the shackles of their day jobs, spurred by a “life-is-short” mentality galvanized by a year of effective hibernation. It’s just one of the unexpected outcomes of the pandemic era, which has empowered some to jettison corporate life.

"I will work again at some point," he said in a phone interview on Wednesday. "In a year’s time, I will probably resurface in some capacity. I’m looking at things potentially outside of fixed income. But I’m not good enough at other things, like either music or cooking, to do them."

After receiving his master's at UCLA, Maroutsos started at PIMCO (the firm that Gross built) as an analys before leaving in 2007 to launch Kapstream Capital, his own fixed-income investing firm that was acquired by Janus eight years later, not long after Gross left/was fired by PIMCO over what colleagues complained was increasingly erratic behavior.

Despite the public legal fallout and disturbing stories about Gross's often antagonistic personal behavior, Gross took a top job at Janus where he sought to burnish his legacy. Unfortunately, a few wrong-way bets in Gross's unconstrained strategy fund precipitated Gross's retirement from the industry, though he has continued to trade, recently announcing a bet against GameStop.

After Gross's retirement, Maroutsos and his team mixed the various strategies he employed with some of their own. The biggest fund that Maroutsos helps oversee is the Janus Henderson Short Duration Income ETF, which has a market capitalization of almost $3 billion and total return of 2.5% since the since pandemic lockdowns started in mid-March 2020. He is also co-manager of the Absolute Return Income Opportunities Fund, which has seen a 2.4% return over the past year.

As for his decision to follow Gross out the door, Maroutsos said the pandemic gave him a lot of time to think about "where I want to be in the next 10 years". And ultimately he decided to follow Gross out the door.

"I had reached a point in my career where I had been in fixed-income markets for the last 20 years, and was looking at what the future holds," he says. "I was looking at my own career progress and decided now is as good a time as any to take a step back and hit the reset button."

"The pandemic has caused everybody to sort of reevaluate not just their career paths, but goals in life," Maroutsos added. "I spent a lot of time thinking about that and where I want to be in the next 10 years. I’m quite fortunate to be able to do this at my age."

Perhaps Maroutsos is simply hoping to avoid the acrimony that has famously afflicted Gross and his family?

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