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Sunday, Aug 14, 2022
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OCBJ INSIDER

“I am a happy man in retirement,” says Bill Gross in his recently released autobiography “I’m Still Standing: Bond King Bill Gross and the Pimco Express.” 

“Still getting up at 6 in the morning, working five hours in front of a Bloomberg machine, with a workout and afternoon of golf to follow.”

His bio’s recollections of Pimco are also largely happy, especially the sections concerning the Newport Beach finance firm’s huge paydays, noting $250 million bonuses or more for himself, eight-figure bonus checks for other big performers, and some executive assistants earning salaries close to half a million dollars.

His 2014 ouster from the firm is one notable sore spot in the book. Gross notes that after directing an f-bomb toward Michael Diekmann, then-CEO of parent company Allianz—“I wanted to show that we were in control and we were the alphas at the tables,” he wrote—his time at the firm he co-founded soon came to an end.

‘“No one speaks to me like that,’ [Diekmann] said, and a few months later I was gone,” wrote Gross, who said he turned to litigation—and other means—to help clear his reputation and settle scores after his public dismissal. He said he sent out a confidential bonus sheet, with wildly varied payouts, for more than 50 Pimco managing directors to a handful of directors.

“A day later, I swear I could hear the screams from the 21st floor offices occupied by top executives,” he said.

Unlike prior years, neither Bill Gross nor ex-wife Sue Gross made this week’s list of 2021 Top Home Sales, which starts on page 38. Both have been frequent luxe home buyers here, in both Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.

Pimco’s reach in the local luxe home market is still being felt. The Corona del Mar home that graces the cover of this week’s edition was bought by an LLC that counts ties to former managing director Dean Meiling, property records indicate. Meiling, who retired from the firm in 1998, helped set up Pimco’s overseas operation in London.

Edward J. Carpenter, founder of Irvine-based bank startup company Carpenter & Co., is currently associate chairman of the International Medical Corps, where he’s been involved since 1995.

“This is one thing that’s really important to me,” he told the Business Journal in 2018. “We’ve grown it to the largest provider of medical relief for war zones in the world.”

That includes eastern Ukraine, where the nonprofit has provided medical services and prescription medicine since 2014. Last week, Carpenter pointed out the New York Times praised the Corps as one of four nonprofits that are “especially worthy” of donations because of its work in the war-ravaged country.

“The organization plans to increase its presence in the country, focusing in particular on mental healthcare and access to food and water,” the Times said.

More info on the group can be found at internationalmedicalcorps.org.

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