After a month’s long worth of hoopla and mudslinging, DoubleLine Capital issued its response today to The TCW Group’s January allegations that CEO Jeffrey Gundlach and his fellow employees breached their fiduciary duties and hurt the firm.
Previously, in TCW’s Jan. 7 complaint, DoubleLine Capital, a firm Gundlach established just days following his Dec. 4 termination from TCW, and its staff, were charged with breach of confidence claims, interference with contractual relations and civil conspiracy.
“DoubleLine is not a testament to [Gundlach and DoubleLine’s] supposed acumen but the product of their secret theft [of TCW’s proprietary information],” the Societe Generale subsidiary said in the complaint.
As a direct response to these claims, DoubleLine’s answer, which was filed today in the Los Angeles Superior Court, credits its quick start-up to partnership with Oaktree Capital Management and effectively denied all of TCW’s allegations.
Also, DoubleLine championed the notion that the TCW lawsuit is an attempt to compensate for “its miserable failure to complete successfully and on the merits for the investment clientele that had been served so successfully by Gundlach and his group.”
Since Gundlach’s firing, the answer states that investors withdrew “about $6 billion of the roughly $12 billion invested in the TCW Total Return Bond Fund.”
“TCW…seeks to put a cloud over DoubleLine’s efforts to bring in capital by filing a lawsuit, a month after Gundlach’s termination, claiming that DoubleLine is built upon propriety information,” the document said.
In a separate filing, DoubleLine’s Feb. 10 cross-complaint also alleges that the Los Angeles-based firm owes him “easily…$1.25 billion and beyond” due to a previous “early 2007…oral agreement” for performance compensation for investment products his team managed. The complaint explains that TCW used this as “pretextual basis” to fire him and repudiate its fee obligation.
“[TCW] hatched a scheme to deprive Gundlach and his group of this lucrative compensation package and to confiscate the huge future fees that would be generated as a result of the skill and hard work of Gundlach and his group,” the cross-complaint said.
Additionally, the document states that the 24-year TCW veteran was also not allowed sufficient time to “cure any alleged breaches before it terminated him.”
In a response to the Wednesday filing, TCW said in a statement released this afternoon that it will address all of Gundlach’s counterclaims in court.
“We have no intention of deflecting attention away from the serious misconduct and breach of fiduciary duties of which he and his co-defendants are accused,” the statement said.
Separately, the company’s response states that its former CIO’s “spin” regarding reasons for his firing is “completely erroneous.” It highlighted that Gundlach earned $40 million dollars last year and $135 million over the past five years.