US - TCW has sued its former investment chief Jeffrey Gundlach for allegedly stealing proprietary information in order to form his own firm, DoubleLine Capital, and alleged Gundlach stored pornographic materials and drugs at work.
In its suit, filed yesterday at the Los Angeles Superior Court, TCW said Gundlach allegedly began laying the groundwork for his new firm in October via "wholesale theft of vast quantities of TCW proprietary information, including essentially all the information that would be needed to start the new business, including detailed information about TCW's clients".
TCW filed the complaint for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of confidence, civil conspiracy and other charges. It also names three other former TCW executives and up to 50 former TCW employees who have jumped ship.
The suit also alleged Gundlach kept a host of pornographic materials at the office.
The suit said TCW discovered "marijuana, drug paraphernalia, including paraphernalia bearing evidence of recent use, and a collection of 12 sexual devices, 34 hardcore pornographic magazines and 36 hardcore sexually explicit DVDs and videocassettes".
Gundlach was TCW's CIO until December when he was let go and the firm announced its acquisition of bond shop Metropolitan West Asset Management. Gundlach had been at the firm for nearly a quarter century and managed about two-thirds of the firm's US$110bn in assets under management. (Global Pensions; December 7, 2009)
At the time, the firm said: "Jeffrey Gundlach has been relieved of his duties as TCW's chief investment officer and lead portfolio manager of TCW's high-grade fixed income funds and accounts and removed from the board of directors of The TCW Group. TCW deeply regrets the need to take this action."
His departure has hampered TCW who announced this week it would shutter it's $500m UST/TCW Senior Mortgage Securities Fund, part of the government's programme to invest in toxic bank assets, because of personnel changes. (Global Pensions; January 6, 2009)
TCW is demanding over $200m as compensation for lost profits and a return of "ill gotten gains". The firm is also demanding the return of all proprietary information and an inspection of DoubleLine's computers, hard drives and other equipment.
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