Thursday, 11 February 2016
Last updated 14 hours ago
Jan 11 2010 | 1:51am ET
TCW Group has sued its former chief investment officer and three other former employees for allegedly trying to steal the Los Angeles-based traditional and alternative asset management firm’s clients and proprietary information. But that is only the beginning.
In its lawsuit, filed last week, TCW accuses Jeffrey Gundlach, who it fired last month, and his new firm, DoubleLine, breach of contract and fiduciary duty, unfair competition and conspiracy, among other allegations. According to the complaint, “DoubleLine is entirely the product of defendant’s theft of TCW property, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.”
TCW claims that Gundlach, Barbara VanEvery, Cris Santa Ana and Jeffrey Mayberry founded DoubleLine in October while all still worked for TCW.
“That groundwork included wholesale theft of vast quantities of TCW proprietary information, including essentially all the information that would be needed to start the business,” the complaint alleges.
TCW fired Gundlach on Dec. 4 after he allegedly “threatened to leave TCW and take key personnel with him,” TCW CEO Marc Stern said. Gundlach has denied those allegations.
Just 10 days after being terminated, DoubleLine issued a press release announcing its formation and partnership with hedge fund firm Oaktree Capital Management. Oaktree, founded in 1995 by former TCW executives as part of another messy breakup, took a minority stake in Los Angeles-based DoubleLine—Gundlach is its largest shareholder—which plans to manage core and mortgage-backed fixed-income funds.
Of course, no indignant lawsuit would be complete without a little character assassination, and TCW’s is no different. The complaint alleges that “Gundlach’s unfitness to continue as a TCW officer was strongly corroborated by discoveries TCW made the day that it relieved him of employment duties.”
According to TCW, those discoveries included marijuana and drug paraphernalia—some of it “bearing evidence of recent use”—and a whole host of sexually explicit materials, including 34 “hardcore” pornographic magazine and 36 DVDs and videotapes of the same ilk. The firm also said it found “a collection of 12 sexual devices.”