Gundlach Celebrates TCW Firing With Brash Bash

DoubleLine’s grudge-holding guru fêtes his independence day 'in cockiest possible way,' says New York magazine

Filet mignon, tuna tartare and revenge were on the menu Tuesday in Los Angeles as DoubleLine investment guru Jeff Gundlach celebrated his firm’s three-year anniversary at a restaurant in the building where the firm that fired him has its offices.

Jeffrey Gundlach, DoubleLine“Jeffrey Gundlach Celebrates Anniversary of Getting Fired in Cockiest Way Possible,” blared the headline at New York magazine’s “Daily Intel” website, which reported that asset manager TCW fired the star bond investor three years ago Tuesday. Gundlach (left) marked the event, the website reported, by throwing a lavish “independence day” bash for DoubleLine employees at Magnolia, a restaurant located just steps from TCW’s Los Angeles offices.

“The party was ‘very clearly’ designed to rub Gundlach's recent successes in TCW's face, our source said,” wrote business writer Kevin Roose. “The interior of Magnolia is clearly visible as you exit TCW's office, and above the bar, Gundlach hung a banner that read ‘DoubleLine $50 Billion’–the amount of money his new firm has under management.

Gundlach, who is no stranger to AdvisorOne or its sister publication Investment Advisor magazine--where he was its cover boy in October--has enjoyed his title as the “it” manager of the mutual fund space since being named 2006 Fixed Income Manager of the Year by Morningstar. 

In addition to the $50 billion he has raised, he also has amassed a colorful reputation not only as an industry forecaster and pundit but as a chaos-courting character. In September, Gundlach held a press conference to announce his offer of a $1.7 million reward for the return of stolen art on his property.

Well before then, he was known for his controversial firing by TCW–and for taking a few dozen colleagues with him when he walked out the door and started his own firm. Within less than three months, DoubleLine Capital had accumulated $1 billion in AUM.

Rather than rest on his laurels, Gundlach has spent the past few years making even more money and finding new and imaginative ways to torment his former employer. A lawsuit between the two parties was settled out of court last year after a split verdict.

“Midway through the evening, the Bond King himself gave a toast to his employees, many of whom had fled TCW with him three years earlier,” Roose wrote. “’Three years ago, there were more than 40 of you who jumped off the diving board with me, believing that there would be water in the pool by the time you got there,’ he said, raising a glass of Cristal. ‘I’ll never forget that.’"

Roose’s source also said that many TCW employees were seen leaving work on their way to the parking garage stopping to gawk at the party going on inside. Some were horrified, others laughed at Gundlach's audacity and “a few even surreptitiously entered the restaurant to shake their old colleague's hand.”

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