A family fund controlled by legendary financier George Soros has invested $500 million with Bill Gross at Janus Capital, providing a critical vote of confidence for the onetime "bond king" after his messy exit from Pacific Investment Management Co. two months ago.
In messages posted on Janus Capital's Twitter account, Gross said he will manage the funds for Soros Fund Management LLC in a separate account alongside Janus' Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, the publicly available mutual fund Gross came over to manage after leaving his perch atop Pimco's Total Return Fund, the $172-billion flagship that remains one of the most closely watched funds in the bond world.
"We are honored to be managing a new unconstrained strategic account for Soros Fund Management LLC," Gross said, according to the Janus account. "I & my team will manage your new unconstrained strategic acct. 24h/day. An honor to be chosen & an honor to be earned as well."
In an ad announcing the Soros investment, Janus said the funds came via Quantum Partners LP, a private-investment vehicle of Soros family assets.
Though the Soros investment is small relative to Gross' former fund, it is huge relative to his new, more modest circumstances, greater than the entire amount that Gross manages within Janus' unconstrained fund, which had $442 million at the end of last month.
Just as important is the perceived endorsement, from one of the most successful investors of recent decades, of Gross, a legend in his own right, but one dogged in recent years by a record of poor investment performance, erratic behavior and reported clashes with other executives.
Gross' exit triggered a rush of outflows from Pimco, mostly from funds managed by Gross. The outflows, totaling $48 billion in October alone, didn't result in anything like corresponding inflows to Gross' new fund at Janus. Instead, they went mostly to other rival funds.