Trust Company of the West rested its court case against its former chief investment officer, star bond fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach, in the high-stakes trial that has drawn the attention of the financial services industry.
Gundlach's legal team immediately began calling witnesses in their counter-suit without the judge even granting a break for the jury on Wednesday.
TCW fired Gundlach in December 2009 and sued him a month later, accusing him of stealing trade secrets, plotting to form a new company using TCW proprietary information and gutting the firm of its entire mortgage-backed securities team.
Gundlach fired back with a counter-lawsuit, alleging his former employer owed him hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation and had secretly plotted to fire him while he was still chief investment officer.
In the weeks following his termination, Gundlach went on to form DoubleLine Capital, along with three of his co-defendants in the case. Roughly 45 TCW employees, largely from the mortgage-backed securities group, followed.
In court on Wednesday, former TCW President Bill Sonneborn told jurors that Gundlach was the the most arrogant fund manager he'd ever met.
By the end of Sonneborn's tenure with the company in July 2008, Gundlach had gotten close to the point of becoming a disease or a cancer at the company, Sonneborn said in response to a question from TCW attorney John Quinn.
Sonneborn went to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co [KKR.UL] in 2008 and currently heads KKR Asset Management.
TCW is a unit of French bank Societe Generale (SOGN.PA).
The case in Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles is Trust Co of the West v. Jeffrey Gundlach et al, BC429385.