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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gundlach 'Felt a Crack of Doom'

News summary by MFWire's editors

Jeffrey Gundlach started his "defensive" contingency planning in September 2009 after he "felt a crack of doom" when meeting a top executive at TCW's [see profile] parent, Societe Generale. Yesterday the DoubleLine [see profile] chief and ex-TCW chief investment investment officer returned to the witness box for his third day of testimony in the trial over alleged theft of trade secrets on one side and alleged breach of contract on the other. Gundlach is slated to be back on the stand today.

Jeff Gundlach
DoubleLine Capital
To read the rest of the story of the fight between Gundlach and TCW, click here.

Bloomberg, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Pensions & Investments and Reuters all reported on Gundlach's testimony yesterday.

Gundlach told the jury that SocGen's head of global investment management services, Jacques Ripoll, came to TCW's hometown of Los Angeles in September 2009, but that didn't reassure Gundlach about his future at all.

"It was like talking to a piece of cardboard," Gundlach said, adding that it was then that he and his team started preparations for the possibility of moving on, like hunting for office space, copying data and talking with Goldman Sachs.

Also yesterday, Gundlach testified that he warned his DoubleLine employeesas early as December 18, 2009, the day DoubleLine opened for business, to return any data to TCW, and that he even fired a junior portfolio analyst the next year for not returning everything. TCW claims Gundlach and his colleagues swiped trade secrets and wants $375 million in damages.

"I yelled at everybody" after finding out co-defendant Jeffrey Mayberry turned in some data late, Gundlach said, "I told them this was unacceptable."

And Gundlach revealed that he and four other top TCW managers fought against the June 2009 return of Marc Stern as interim CEO, sending a letter to SocGen calling Stern's appointment a "major step backward," Gundlach added. The other managers who sent the letter were: equity PM Diane Jaffee, who's still with TCW; leveraged finance group chiefs Mark Attanasio and Jean-Marc Chapus, whose group has since negotiated a spin-off from TCW; and energy and infrastructure group head Blair Thomas, whose group also negotiated a separation. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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