Marijuana, sexual devices, porn magazines, X-rated DVDs - are we talking about staid money management firm TCW? It's accusing its one-time star bond fund manager Jeff Gundlach of conspiracy, unfair competition, theft of proprietary TCW information - and, ahem, of having "inappropriate contraband" in his office. As in the aforementioned naughtiness. TCW says in a Superior Court lawsuit that Gundlach had become "unfit" to remain a senior officer. It cited "erratic" and "increasingly and openly confrontational" behavior. No word yet from Gundlach or his lawyer or spokesman. Since being fired on Dec. 4, Gundlach has opened his own firm, DoubleLine LLC, and taken about 40 TCW people with him. His clients have also moved a bunch of money out of TCW and presumably into Doubleline. From Money & Co.
TCW's suit, filed in state Superior Court, alleges that Gundlach "conspired while at TCW to steal confidential and proprietary TCW information" and has "solicited business from [TCW clients] by making false statements about TCW and its capabilities." Gundlach and certain associates "secretly organized DoubleLine back in October 2009 and laid the groundwork for its launch," the suit says. "That groundwork included wholesale theft of vast quantities of TCW proprietary information," the firm alleges.
The LAT's Tom Petruno recent profiled Gundlach, who does not come off as the modest type.
A math major at Dartmouth College in the late 1970s, his first job out of school was as an actuary at an insurance company. He hated it, he says. His fallback was music: A drummer since fourth grade, Gundlach joined a rock band in the early 1980s and moved to L.A. The band played clubs of that era including the Music Machine and FM Station. But in need of a steady paycheck, Gundlach began to look for a job where he could put his math knowledge to work. He says he knew nothing about the investment management business but decided to send resumes to firms he found in the phone book. He wound up in TCW's bond investment unit in 1985.
*Gundlach tells Bloomberg: "The allegations are clearly untrue and will be easily proven to be untrue." Not sure Gundlach was also referring to the "inappropriate contraband," which wasn't mentioned in the Bloomberg story.
**Here's DoubleLine's statement on the suit:
"The allegations in the complaint are meritless and will be proven so in a court of law. TCW's lawsuit is a blatant attempt to damage DoubleLine's business and clients. DoubleLine and Mr. Gundlach are asserting their legal rights in a lawsuit to be filed shortly, which will demonstrate the thoroughly baseless nature of TCW's claims and seek redress for TCW's deplorable conduct. The false and hyperbolic personal attacks by TCW are obviously a gratuitous and irrelevant gutter tactic, which merely underscores the weakness of TCW's claims."