Gundlach Shoves Success In TCW's Face

Dec 7 2012 | 10:18am ET

Jeffrey Gundlach's legal battle with TCW Group, his former employer, may be over, but the DoubleLine Capital founder isn't letting go of the bitterness that followed his firing by the firm.

DoubleLine recently crested $50 billion in assets after just three years in business, and Gundlach correctly considered that milestone one worth celebrating. So he did: On the third anniversary of his firing, and in TCW's Los Angeles headquarters building, Dealbreaker reports.

The Tuesday party, open to all DoubleLine employees, was held at Magnolia, a restaurant whose interior is visible as one exits TCW's offices. And Gundlach made the most of that, hanging a large banner reading "DoubleLine $50 Billion" above the restaurant's bar. Gundlach also trotted out a poster he used at the civil trial last year, showing the stern faces of seven TCW executives he claimed were behind the plot to force him out of the firm. The poster was placed near the entrance to Magnolia; if that didn't get the intended affect, New York magazine reports that a DoubleLine employee later e-mailed the executives on the poster, with a simple message: "He couldn't have done it without you."

Of course, one might say that Gundlach has good reason for his anger: Not only did TCW fire him, it sued him, accusing him and DoubleLine of stealing its clients and proprietary information, as well as for unfair competition, conspiracy and other matters. And, for good measure, noted that a search of Gundlach's office after his termination turned up drug paraphernalia—"bearing evidence of recent use"—and a host of "hardcore" pornographic material and "a collection of 12 sexual devices." Gundlach fired back with a $66.7 million claim for unpaid wages, and won: A jury awarded him his back pay, but did not award TCW anything, in spite of finding for it on three counts. The two sides settled late last year.

According to New York, the party seemed to have its intended effect, with several TCW employees taking a look—sometimes a horrified look, the magazine said—and sometimes laughing. Some even went into the restaurant to shake Gundlach's hand.

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