Last updated: 20:05 / Tuesday, 8 October 2013
Debate organized by UCLA

Fink and Gross, Convinced That the U.S. will not Fail to Fulfill its Debt Duties

Fink and Gross, Convinced That the U.S. will not Fail to Fulfill its Debt Duties

The world's largest bond mutual fund manager and the world's largest asset manager – PIMCO's Bill Gross, founder and co-chief investment officer, and Larry Fink, chairman and chief executive of BlackRock Inc. – were reunited for an evening of discussion on national, international and governmental issues at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013.  In addition to sharing their perspectives on global economic and financial markets, the two UCLA Anderson School of Management alumni focused their conversation on an emerging concern:  a new workforce that may be ill prepared to respond to the needs of advancing technology and the demands of future economies.  

The exclusive hour-long event, sponsored by UCLA Anderson, was moderated by CNBC's Brian Sullivan and streamed online by the network last Thursday.

The conversation covered a wide range of topics, including the pair's bullish enthusiasm for investment in Mexico and the nation's education crisis. Fink discussed the "death of long-termism," a phenomena that sees corporate CEOs focused predominantly on short-term gains rather than long-term growth. Gross concurred, also commenting on the impact of low interest rates.

"We live in a world with artificially depressed interest rates that lead to artificially depressed returns [on investment]," Gross said.

"We heard from two industry icons who expressed confidence in the U.S.'s resource-rich economy, as well as in the financial resilience of large banks today," says Judy Olian, dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management.  "It's obvious why Bill and Larry, who are a source of pride to the Anderson school, continue to shape financial markets around the world."

Bill Gross, who manages the world's largest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co, (PIMCO) has been called "the nation's most prominent bond investor" by The New York Times and "the consigliore to the world's financial elite" by Forbes, (who counted him among "the world's most powerful people" in 2009 and 2010). Gross co-founded PIMCO and currently manages its Total Return fund, the world's largest mutual fund and is responsible for nearly $2 trillion worldwide. A former blackjack pro, Gross has said he still applies many of the principles learned then for spreading risk and calculating odds to his investment decisions. He is the author of two popular books on investing, "Bill Gross on Investing" and "Everything You've Heard About Investing Is Wrong." Gross has been a keynote at UCLA Anderson events and a commencement speaker. He is a noted philanthropist and a generous donor to our school.

Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, has been named one of the "World's Best CEOs" by Barron's each year since 2005, and distinguished as one of the most respected people in finance by the Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune and SmartMoney.  He received UCLA Anderson's 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award and has been a major player in the financial industry since earning his MBA in 1976.  Since BlackRock's inception in 1988, Mr. Fink has kept client centric solutions and innovation at the forefront of his leadership, building a once small fixed income boutique into a global asset manager with more than 9,000 employees in 27 countries.  A renowned philanthropist, Mr. Fink's generous leadership and financial contributions led to the school naming the Laurence and Lori Fink Center for Finance and Investment in his honor.

To watch the debate, please follow this link.