I was asked to comment for an article in today’s Ignites (A Financial Times Service) about the $200 million law wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Bill Gross against Pimco, his former employer. Ignites conducted a poll asking who has the most to lose from this lawsuit. 42% of respondents said that the suit shines a negative light on both parties, 22% said that Gross could be the biggest loser, 19% say Pimco stands to lose the most while 17% said that Janus (where Gross works now) could lose the most.
My take on the law suit is that it is much ado about nothing. Unlike the frenzy, gossip and media spotlight that Gross’ departure garnered last September, the filing of this lawsuit has been quietly reported and caused barely a ripple. To me, this indicates that people are over the saga and don’t really care any more.
Sure, if it goes to trial, there could be some ugly gossip spread and the media might get back on the bandwagon. This possibility makes it most likely that some type of settlement will occur. But in any case, all of the parties except perhaps Janus were hurt significantly by this very public divorce last year. The damage has already been done.
Some investors left Pimco with Gross, others stayed and still others probably decided to move somewhere else all together. But that was over a year ago. I highly doubt that this rehashing of this very public breakup will change many minds, or cause a great deal of money to move at this point in time.
Obviously feelings were hurt and a lot on anger still exists – at least on the part of Gross. But I think most everyone else has moved on.