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CEO of trillion dollar company resigns after daughter told him how much he has missed

Mohamed El-Erian, 56, quit his role as CEO of PIMCO investment fund in May 2013.

  • The California-based financier said it was ‘a cliché’ but he wanted to spend more time with his wife Jamie, a lawyer, and daughter.
  • His little girl said he missed her first day of school, Halloween parade, first soccer game of the year, parent-teacher meeting and many recitals.
  • He kept grueling hours – sleeping from 9pm-1am, writing until 430am and then hitting the trading floor for five hours and getting to his office at 9am.
  • Mr El-Erian said ‘his need to be a good father was greater than his desire to be a good investor.
  • Since resigning, he and his wife take turns in preparing their daughter’s breakfast and taking her to school.
  • SEC investigating PIMCO and Mr El-Erian’s former boss Alex Gross, it was confirmed today.

A globally-respected financier has revealed that he quit his job running a $2 trillion investment fund after his young daughter wrote him a note pointing out that he had missed 22 landmark events in her life.

Mohamed El-Erian’s ten-year-old told her dad that he had skipped her first day of school, Halloween parade, her first soccer game of the year and many recitals because he was too busy at work.

The California-based investment guru’s resignation in May 2013 shocked the financial world. However in a recent interview, Mr El-Erian, who made $100 million in 2011 alone, explained that his young daughter and wife Jamie were at the heart of his decision.

Mohamed El-Erian, pictured, resigned from $2 trillion PIMCO investment fund in May 2013 to spend more time with his ten-year-old daughter. In a recent interview, he said: 'I was not making nearly enough time for her'

Mr El-Erian, pictured with his wife Jamie, who is a lawyer in Laguna Beach, California. The top financier quit his role as head of PIMCO last year so she could spend more time with his family

In an essay for Worth in June, El-Erian, 56, explained his decision. He said: ‘About a year ago, I asked my daughter several times to do something – brush her teeth, I think it was – with no success.

‘I reminded her that it was not so long ago that she would have immediately responded, and I wouldn’t have had to ask her multiple times; she would have known from my tone of voice that I was serious.

‘She asked me to wait a minute, went to her room and came back with a piece of paper. It was a list that she had compiled of her important events and activities that I had missed due to work commitments. Talk about a wake-up call.

‘The list contained 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade. And the school year wasn’t yet over.I felt awful and got defensive: I had a good excuse for each missed event! Travel, important meetings, an urgent phone call, sudden to-do.

‘She asked me to wait a minute, went to her room and came back with a piece of paper. It was a list that she had compiled of her important events and activities that I had missed due to work commitments. Talk about a wake-up call.

‘The list contained 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade. And the school year wasn’t yet over.I felt awful and got defensive: I had a good excuse for each missed event! Travel, important meetings, an urgent phone call, sudden to-do.

 

El-Erian was born in New York and grew up in Egypt before his father returned to the city to work at the United Nations.

In his recent essay, he admitted he was spending far too much time away from home while working for PIMCO.

According to Business Insider, El-Erian kept an extremely grueling schedule at PIMCO (Pacific Investment Management Company).

He would sleep from 9pm until 1am, then work on his newspaper columns, get to the office at 4.30am and then move from trading floor to his office to take up management duties at 9am.

Since resigning, the investor said he and his wife take turns in waking up their daughter, preparing her breakfast and bringing her to school.

He said he is also planning a holiday just for himself and his daughter.

Jamie El-Erian is a successful lawyer who practices in Laguna Beach, California.

El-Erian said instead of one, full-time position, he has taken a ‘portfolio’ of part-time roles which require far less travelling and allow him greater flexibility.

The investor, who was educated at Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, said that he even now had time to pick up his daughter from school.

Speaking to Bloomberg after his resignation, El-Erian said: ‘ I’ve gone through a transition after 14 great years with PIMCO and I’ve put together a portfolio of part-time activities that I’m really excited about. I’m also really excited to spend more time with my family and my daughter.’

He later told Reuters: ‘If I had known that there would be this media circus, I would’ve done a lot of things differently.

‘Was there a way of not going 100 miles an hour and maybe going 50 miles an hour? To be perfectly honest, I didn’t explore that option. I never explored.’

El-Erian said wanting to spend more time with his family is a cliche but he decided that ‘his need to be a good father was greater than his desire to be a good investor’.

He decided that he had to readjust his work-life balance in May 2013 after receiving the note from his daughter.

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