Jeff Gundlach Offers $1.7 Million for Return of Stolen Art

Star fund manager abruptly ends press conference after three questions

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In a dramatic and chaotic press conference in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, star fund manager Jeff Gundlach increased the reward offered for the return of his stolen property from $200,000 to $1.7 million.

Technical problems with a conference line made it difficult for reporters to call in. For those in attendance, Gundlach abruptly ended the press conference after just three questions.

Gundlach offered the money in response to a burglary in his home two weeks ago in which valuable art, wine, watches and cash were taken, in addition to his red 2010 Porsche Carrera 4S. A condition of payment is that the 13 pieces of art are returned undamaged.

Reuters reports the bulk of the massive heist consisted of rare, one-of-a-kind works by contemporary painter Jasper Johns, who last year won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the late Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian and several other artists.

While the $200,000 initial reward is “still in play,” the news service adds he posted a new $1 million reward for a 1936 oil on canvas by Mondrian called "Composition (A) En Rouge Et Blanc," plus an additional $500,000 for three works together— a 1956 Johns piece called "Green Target" and two wood-box collage works by Joseph Cornell, "Medici Princess" and "Pinturicchio Boy."

 Anyone providing information resulting in the successful recovery of all 13 works, including pieces by Frank Stella, Franz Kline, Guy Rose, Philip Guston and Hanson Duvall Puthuff, would stand to receive the total reward of $1.7 million.

Reuters notes Gundlach said he would take questions from the media, but abruptly left after declining to comment on the first three queries—was his property insured; did he have any suspicions about who was involved in the burglary; and was his house equipped with a security system.

The reward notice includes the phrase, "No Questions Asked." An anonymous telephone tip line was set up in conjunction with the rewards at 855-692-4997, along with an anonymous online tip site at www.wetip.com.

Gundlach, the CEO and CIO of DoubleLine Capital, is the “it” manager of the mutual fund space, a title he has enjoyed since being named 2006 Fixed Income Manager of the Year by Morningstar. At the time he was CIO and head of fixed income activities for TCW. Barely three years later he was named as a finalist for Fixed Income Manager of the Decade—a title that eventually went to Bill Gross of PIMCO—when, in a move that shocked the industry, he was summarily fired from TCW (makes you wonder about those stewardship grades). His acrimonious exit led to lawsuits and counter-lawsuits, the salacious details of which won’t be repeated here. But Gundlach’s winning ways meant he somehow “lost” the case by being awarded $66.7 million.

Since starting DoubleLine in 2010, when the ashes of the TCW debacle were still hot, he has amassed $45 billion in assets under management.

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Read Jeff Gundlach’s cover story in the October 2012 issue of Investment Advisor magazine.

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