NEW YORK (AP) — One of the world's most closely watched investors is leaving Pimco as part of a series of leadership changes at the giant money manager.
Mohamed El-Erian will leave Pacific Investment Management Co. in mid-March, according to the company's parent, Allianz. El-Erian is Pimco's CEO and, along with famed investor William Gross, is co-chief investment officer. In a brief statement, Allianz gave no explanation for the departure.
Chief Operating Officer Douglas Hodge will become CEO, and Pimco founder Gross will stay as chief investment officer, Pimco said.
El-Erian helped steer the company through the tumult of the financial crisis and helped develop its concept of the "new normal" — a widely cited idea that economies will grow more slowly after the crisis and big investment returns will be hard to come by. He is widely published, and is the author of a 2008 best-seller "When Markets Collide."
Pimco has struggled in the face of rising interest rates in the past year. Investors have pulled billions of dollars out of its flagship bond fund, the Pimco Total Return Fund. In the past 12 months, the fund lost 4 percent, according to FactSet.
The son of an Egyptian diplomat, El-Erian worked at the International Monetary Fund for 15 years, eventually rising to deputy director. After a stint at Citigroup, he joined Pimco where he made a name as a shrewd investor in emerging market bonds.