Bill Gross' headline-grabbing departure from Pimco may have rocked the investing world, but Dennis Gartman thinks everyone will get over it soon enough.
Gross on Friday quit the firm he founded 43 years ago for a position at Janus Capital amid huge outflows from Pimco's flagship Total Return Fund and a slew of controversies that began with the departure earlier this year of then-CEO Mohamed El-Erian.
While Gartman acknowledged the importance of the move—and weighed in with some speculation of his own—the author of the widely followed Gartman Letter said investors should avoid knee-jerk reactions.
"The bond market was thrown into a state of confusion early Friday following the announcement of Mr. Gross' resignation, but we are talking here of the departure of one man from one fund, whose influence had been waning for quite some while as his asset base was falling," Gartman wrote Monday. "The bond market is collectively wise enough to accept Mr. Gross' departure from Pimco and 'get-on-with-it' without undue problems."
Indeed, U.S. government bond prices actually rose Monday in the aftermath, though there was chatter of sovereign yields—in Spain and Italy in particular—rising over concerns that Pimco no longer would find favor with some foreign debt.
Gartman said any damage likely won't last, and could in fact provide some short-term opportunities. Investors pulled another $10 billion out of Pimco after Friday's news, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"That which gets sold in the coming weeks is probably to be bought and that which is bought should probably be sold as the bond market seeks 'in medias res' over any modest protracted period of time," he said. "More simply put, the bond market is bigger … by far… than the mere machinations of Mr. William Gross, genius though he is, has been and likely shall be in the future."
For its part, Pimco sought to assuage investor fear, issuing a question-and-answer over the weekend outlining the firm's planned approach now that Gross no longer will be leading the way for the firm's $1.97 trillion in assets.
Pimco CIO Mark Kiesel insisted "there were no surprises" in terms of portfolio management, which he called "a seamless transition."
But Gartman speculated that it was a far bumpier ride that led to Gross leaving the firm. He said Pimco parent, Berlin-based Allianz, probably "had grown weary" of the public fallout from the Gross-El-Erian divorce as well as news reports focusing on Gross' increasingly authoritarian management style.
Those factors combined with the steady exodus of investor cash and poor returns to create an inevitable breakup, Gartman said.
"German firms, if we've learned anything about them over the years, operate quietly for the very most part," he said. "They do not like controversy. They prefer stability; they live and breathe the chain-of-command and they abjure those who stand up and cause confusion and/or consternation within that chain."
Pimco itself acknowledged the "fundamental differences" that led to Gross' exit. Allianz has yet to comment on Gross' departure except for a statement confirming that he was leaving Pimco, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.