William Hunt “Bill” Gross
Early life and Career
Bill was an Angier B. Duke Scholar graduating from Duke University with a degree in Psychology. He was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He served in the Navy before returning to complete his MBA in 1971 at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He is said to have been a professional blackjack player in Las Vegas before entering the Navy during the war in Vietnam. He started his career as an investment analyst for Pacific Mutual Life and earned his credentials as a CFA Charterholder while at the firm.
He so-founded the Pacific Investment Management Company in 1971, building the investment management firm into a global giant. At the height of his career at PIMCO, Bill was in charge of nearly $300 billion in assets. PIMCO is one of the world’s largest mutual funds with a strong focus on bonds. PIMCO’s Total Return Fund, managed by Gross, is the world’s largest bond fund ever.
Gross is also the manager of the $1.3 billion assets in the Janus Unconstrained Bond Fund at Janus Capital, a Denver based firm.
He is the author of two books on the subject of investing and netted much of his personal fortune after the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae federal takeover.
Philanthropy and Sponsorship
Bill Gross and his wife are committed to active philanthropy and passionate about several specific causes. Bill is the largest donor in the world to the organization Doctors Without Borders to whom he donated $25 million. In 2005, Bill and his wife donated $23, 5 million to Duke University with the stipulation that $20 million be used for financial aid for prospective students. An avid stamp collector with one of the world’s largest and rarest collections, Bill auctioned several of his British stamp collections netting $9.1 million which he donated to Doctors Without Borders. In 2008, he donated the proceeds of his auctioned Finnish and Scandinavian collections of stamps to Columbia University, specifically to the Jeffrey Sachs Millennium Villages Project.
Other donations from Bill and his wife Sue include $20 million to Hoag Memorial Hospital and $10 million to open a stem cell research center at the University of California, Irvine. In 2012, the new Sue and Bill Gross Surgery and procedure Center was opened at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles due in large part to a $20 million donation.
The Mercy Ships donation in 2013, was worth over $20 and will ensure that a new hospital ship will be able to deliver medical services and medicines around the coast of Africa. In 2016, Bill and his wife donated $40 million to build a nursing school at the University of California, Irvine.