Pimco Co-Founder Bill Gross’s Wife of 31 Years Seeks Divorce

  • Sue Gross cites irreconcilable differences in court filing
  • He’s worth an estimated $2.1 billion, now runs Janus fund

Bill Gross

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

The wife of Pacific Investment Management Co. co-founder and billionaire Bill Gross is seeking a divorce after 31 years of marriage and their joint work on a charitable foundation that gave away almost $800 million.

Sue Gross said the couple have “irreconcilable differences” in a petition filed Nov. 22 in Los Angeles state court. The filing contained no further details, stating that Sue Gross is as yet unaware of the nature and extent of the couple’s assets and obligations.

The couple married in 1985. It was Bill Gross’s second marriage. Their William and Sue Gross Family Foundation’s donations includes a gift in January of $40 million to create a school of nursing at the University of California, Irvine. The foundation also donated $38 million to Doctors Without Borders and $23.5 million to Duke University, according to a statement by University of California at Irvine.

Gross, 72, is worth an estimated $2.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

He co-founded Pacific Investment Management Co. in 1971 and led investing at the asset management firm until he resigned in 2014 amid a clash with other executives at the firm. Gross, who now runs the $1.7 billion Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, sued Pimco last year for “hundreds of millions of dollars,” contending he was ousted by a “cabal” of colleagues who sought to avoid paying his $200 million bonus.

Seth Lubove, a spokesman for Gross, declined to comment on the divorce petition. Sue Gross’s lawyer, Laura Wasser, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Jolie, Spears

Wasser, of Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles, has represented numerous Los Angeles celebrities and their spouses. Her clients included Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Maria Shriver, and Kim Kardashian.

Under California law, all assets acquired during a marriage are considered community property and are divided equally in a divorce unless there’s a prenuptial agreement specifying otherwise.

“In New York it’s different, it’s an equitable distribution," Wasser said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek last year. “Here you can sit on the couch and eat bonbons while your husband’s at work, and you’ll still get half of everything.”

Gross said in an interview earlier this year that his wife handled their charitable giving.

“Sue’s in charge of that,” Gross said. “She spends all her time looking for opportunities, a lot of it local. I report to her.”

In an investment outlook from August, Gross said his son with Sue, Nick, was one of California’s first “test tube babies,” conceived by in vitro fertilization, when he was born in 1988. He has two older children, now in their 40s, with his first wife.

The case is Gross v. Gross, BD649294, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County.

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