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Mohamed El-Erian

Even by the eye-popping standards of Wall Street paychecks, Mohamed El-Erian makes “gobs of money,” said Geraldine Fabrikant in The New York Times. The CEO of Pimco, the world’s largest bond fund, El-Erian is believed to have made $100 million last year. But then, these uncertain economic times have meant boom days for bonds, and Pimco has a long reputation for impressive returns. Since the media-savvy El-Erian rejoined the bond giant in 2007 after briefly running Harvard’s $26 billion endowment, he has stepped out of the shadow of Pimco’s legendary founder, Bill Gross. But some are wondering if he has what it takes to continue Pimco’s stunning success. El-Erian “tends to be more deliberate and cerebral” than Gross, who relishes risky trades. But soon, Pimco and its $1.8 trillion in assets will quite simply be “El-Erian’s to lose.”

Some institutional investors question El-Erian’s trading record, said Felix Salmon in Reuters.com. But during his first stint at Pimco, between 1999 and 2005, he managed to make an annualized return of 18.4 percent. What should really concern investors is that he’ll now run a major bond firm that he didn’t found. “Many people have been asked to do that; very few of them have ever succeeded.”

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