TCW Sues DoubleLine Funds Trust, Claims Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

A trust created by DoubleLine Capital LP’s Jeffrey Gundlach was sued by TCW Group Inc., which already sued its former investment chief after he brought more than half of its fixed-income professionals to his new firm.

DoubleLine Funds Trust was started to market DoubleLine Capital’s mutual funds and to “generate fees and profit for Gundlach and the money management firm he had formed,” TCW said in a new complaint filed yesterday in state court in Los Angeles. TCW provided a copy of the complaint to Bloomberg News.

TCW, a Los Angeles-based money management firm, accuses the trust and its trustees of misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition, among other allegations, and seeks unspecified damages.

“Jeffrey Gundlach and his co-conspirators built a business based on the wholesale theft of huge amounts of TCW’s proprietary data and analytical systems, and that business includes DoubleLine Funds Trust,” Steve Madison, a lawyer for TCW, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “When DoubleLine Funds was launched last spring, TCW notified the funds and their trustees of TCW’s intent to name the trust as a defendant.”

TCW, a unit of Societe Generale, in January accused Gundlach and several former employees who joined DoubleLine of breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition and misappropriation of confidential information and demanded more than $200 million in damages.

“TCW has made false claims against DoubleLine for 11 months,” Lew Phelps, a spokesman for DoubleLine, said today. “Their case is going not at all well. This latest legal action by TCW is redundant and meaningless.”

The case is Trust Company of the West v. DoubleLine Funds Trust, BC450413, Los Angeles County Superior Court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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