After receiving a jolting wake-up call, top Egyptian investment chief Mohamed El-Erian made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that he could spend more time with his daughter…
A top Egyptian investment chief has been forced to quit his job after receiving a dressing down from his 10-year-old daughter.
Mohamed El-Erian, 56, previously held the position of CEO at California-based PIMCO investment fund, where he worked gruelling 16-plus hour days. However the former $100m per year high-flyer received a wake-up call when he asked his daughter to brush her teeth before bed one evening.
In an essay for Worth, 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."
However, what happened next 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."
Under his previous schedule El-Erian would sleep from 9 pm until 1 am, then work on his newspaper columns, get to the office at 4.30am and then move from trading floor to his office to take up management duties at 9am.
Days later he left his old life behind and quit his job forever. The California-based financier said it was '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 resigning, he and his wife take turns in preparing their daughter's breakfast and taking her to school.
Speaking to Bloomberg after his resignation, El-Erian said, "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."