A top Egyptian investment chief, Mohamed El-Erian, recieved a hard wake up call and had to make the ultimate sacrifice that would in turn ensure he could spend more time with his beloved daughter.
After receiving a dressing down from his 10-year-old daughter a top Egyptian chief was forced to quit his job.
Mohamed El-Erian, 56, used to work at California-based PIMCO investment fund where he was the CEO and would work hard long 16-plus hour days. With his $100m per year job things could not be any better until one night he asked his daughter to brush her teeth before bed one evening.
El-Erian said, “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.”
But what came next is what changed his life forever.
“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,” 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 and a Halloween parade. And the school year wasn’t yet 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-do.”
“But it dawned on me that I was missing an infinitely more important point. As much as I could rationalize it – as I had rationalized 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.”
With his old schedule El-Erian would only sleep from 9 pm to 1 am, then he would work on his newspaper articles, go to the office at 4:30 am and move around the trading floor on to his office to take on his management duties a 9 am.
Just days later he decided to leave his old life behind and quit his job forever. This California-based financier said ‘a cliché’ but he wanted to spend more time with his wife Jamie, a lawyer, and their daughter.
El-Erian said “his need to be a good father was greater than his desire to be a good investor.”
Since El-Erian resigned he and his wife take turns getting their daughter up in the morning and taking her off to school.
After the resignation El-Erian spoke to Bloomberg saying, “I’ve gone through a transition after 14 great years with PIMCO and I’ve put together a portfolio of part-time activities that I’m really excited about. I’m also really excited to spend more time with my family and my daughter.”