Markets & Finance

TCW Loses Mutual-Fund Head to Gundlach's New Firm


Ronald Redell's move marks the latest defection of a TCW exec to Gundlach's DoubleLine LLC asset-management startup

By Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam

(Bloomberg) — TCW Group Inc. (TGLMX) lost another top executive as mutual-fund unit head Ronald Redell defected to DoubleLine LLC, the asset-management firm formed this month by Jeffrey Gundlach, TCW's former chief investment officer.

Redell, 39, former president and chief executive officer of TCW Funds Inc., jumped to DoubleLine on Dec. 18, the Los Angeles-based firm said in a statement. Redell will help DoubleLine start its mutual-fund business.

About 40 of the 65 investment professionals at TCW's fixed-income group have left for DoubleLine since Gundlach was fired on Dec. 4. Gundlach started his firm 10 days later with financial backing from Oaktree Capital Management LP, an investment manager founded by former TCW managers including Howard Marks who broke away in 1995.

"Ron Redell was instrumental in growing the brand of TCW mutual funds," Gundlach, 50, said in the statement.

Under Redell, who joined TCW in 2000, the firm's mutual-fund assets increased to $16 billion from $1 billion, according to DoubleLine's statement. The firm's largest fund, TCW Total Return Bond, had $12 billion prior to Gundlach's ouster. Assets dropped to about $7.2 billion on Dec. 16 as investors pulled money, according to data compiled by Chicago-based researcher Morningstar Inc.

Philip Barach, who co-managed TCW Total Return Bond with Gundlach, has joined DoubleLine, as have money managers Louis Lucido, Vincent Fiorillo, Joel Damiani and Joseph Galligan.

Conflicting Stories

TCW, the Los Angeles-based fund unit of Paris-based bank Societe Generale, said it dismissed Gundlach because he had threatened to quit and take key people with him. Gundlach disputed that assertion, saying he had heard TCW and Societe Generale wanted to fire him.

TCW acquired rival firm Metropolitan West Asset Management LLC on the same day that it dismissed Gundlach. About 27 fixed-income professionals, led by Tad Rivelle, joined TCW from MetWest after the acquisition.

"We believe we have in MetWest a team of people who will work with the existing fixed-income team to effectively create stability and continuity in managing clients' high-grade fixed-income assets," Erin Freeman, a spokeswoman for TCW, said in an e-mail. "We are making every effort to retain fixed income staff."

To contact the reporter on this story: Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam in Boston at sbhaktavatsa@bloomberg.net.


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