Pacific Investment Management Co.’s former Chief Executive Officer Mohamed El-Erian described Bill Gross as one of the world’s best investors in his first television interview since leaving the investment firm in March.

“I have had the privilege of watching him in action and he is just a great investor,” El-Erian, chief economic adviser to Allianz SE, said today in an interview with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television. There’s a deep talent pool and an “enormous bench at Pimco and that is key for the firm,” he said.

El-Erian, 55, said he left Newport Beach, California-based Pimco after 14 years to do something different. His departure from the world’s biggest bond manager sparked media reports of tension with Gross as the firm struggled to staunch outflows. Gross, who manages the $232 billion Total Return Fund, said April 10 on a Bloomberg Television interview that El-Erian’s resignation was a mystery to him and he may have been premature in anointing him as his sole successor.

El-Erian said he now spends up to 50 percent of his time advising Pimco’s parent Allianz and is occupied with a portfolio of part-time activities. This includes writing a column for Bloomberg View, the opinion section of Bloomberg News, working on a book about central banks and doing a periodic column for the Financial Times. He’s also spending more time with his daughter, whom he cited as a central reason for his exit from Pimco.

Special Moments

“You realize there are special moments in your children’s life,” El-Erian said. “I was missing too many of these special moments. It is that simple.”

Gross, who has among the best long-term track records in the industry, has stumbled in the past year. The Total Return Fund has advanced 1.7 percent this year, putting it in the 29th percentile compared with its peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and in the past year is trailing 89 percent of similar funds.