1. When Mohamed El-Erian quit his job as chief executive of the investment fund Pimco, one of the biggest in the world, it was thought to have been due to an internal dispute.
However, he has now revealed the real reason – his 10-year-old daughter.
2. Writing in the magazine Wealth, the 56-year-old recalled how his daughter handed him a list of important moments in her life he had missed due to his job:
About a year ago, I asked my daughter several times to do something – brush her teeth I think it was – with no success. I reminded her that it was not so long ago that she would have immediately responded, and I wouldn’t have had to ask her multiple times; she would have known from my tone of voice that I was serious.
She asked me to wait a minute, went to her room and came back with a piece of paper. It was a list that she had compiled of her important events and activities that I had missed due to work commitments. Talk about a wake-up call.
3. He added: “The list contained 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season to a parent-teacher meeting at a Halloween parade. And the school year wasn’t over.”
“I felt awful and got defensive: I had a good excuse for each missed event! Travel, important meetings, an urgent phone call, sudden to-dos… But it dawned on me that I was missing an infinitely more important point.
“As much as I could rationalise it – as I had rationalised it – my work-life balance had gotten way out of whack, and the imbalance was hurting my very special relationship with my daughter. I was not making nearly enough time for her.”
4. El-Erian added that work-life imbalance was prevalent in America and one of the country’s greatest challenges.
Thanks to giving up his job at Pimco, the Oxford- and Cambridge-educated investor said, he was now travelling less and had considerably more flexibility, which he hoped would allow him to experience more moments with his daughter.
“I now alternate with my wife in waking up our daughter every morning, preparing her breakfast and driving her to school. I’m also around much more often to pick her up after school and take her to activities. She and I are doing a lot of wonderful talking and sharing. We’ve even planned a holiday together, just the two of us.”
5. According to the Telegraph, El-Erian famously worked incredibly long hours at Pimco. His alarm would go off at 2:45am and he’d be in the office at 4:15am, before returning home around 7pm.
He is now chief economic adviser at the insurer Allianz.