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Mohamed El-Erian—once the heir apparent at Pimco—told CNBC on Tuesday he has no plans to go back to the investment firm now that co-founder Bill Gross has left.
Asked if he'd want his old job back, El-Erian said in a "Squawk Box " interview: "No, I'm really happy with my life." He added that he was surprised that Gross left Pimco, where they had shared the leadership of the investment giant and its investment strategies.
Gross had faced increasing pressure at Pimco and heavy outflows from its flagship bond fund after El-Erian himself abruptly bolted in January. El-Erian has said he left to spend more time with his family, but his leaving raised questions about strained relations with Gross.
"What I wasn't surprised about .... there was a very solid team to step in," said El-Erian, who is now chief economic advisor at Pimco-parent Allianz of Germany. "We have a couple of Morningstar manager-of-the-year winners. You have incredible people who have delivered performance. You have great leadership."
In the wake of Gross' exit, Daniel Ivascyn was named the new chief investment officer at the Newport Beach, California-based firm. Douglas Hodge and Jay Jacobs kept their roles as chief executive officer and president, respectively.
Nicknamed on Wall Street the Bond King, Gross announced his departure from Pimco in September to join Janus Capital Group. The new bond fund managed by Gross at Janus took in a net $66.4 million last month, putting total assets under management at $79.1 million.
On CNBC Tuesday, El-Erian had nothing but positive things to say about Gross. "He is a brilliant investor and remains a brilliant investor," El-Erian added.
As Gross embarks on his new chapter at Janus, El-Erian said he couldn't speak to his former colleague's state of mind because he has not seem him in a while.
"But the Bill I know is someone who's anchored by three things that you hardly ever find in an investor: Strong fundamentals including economics, a really good feel for the market and strong bond math. And that is what has made him so successful."