Some TCW executives depart before Carlyle buyout: sources

NEW YORK Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:52am IST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A number of senior executives are leaving TCW Group just weeks before the Los Angeles-based asset manager is scheduled to be acquired by private equity firm Carlyle Group (CG.O), according to two people familiar with the situation on Monday.

The departures are part of a management transition ahead of the Carlyle takeover, according to one of the sources.

Michael Conn, managing director of corporate strategy; Michael Cahill, general counsel, and Erlend Bø, a managing director involved with marketing and distribution, are leaving the firm, the sources said.

Komal Sri-Kumar, a 22-year TCW veteran and one of its most visible executives, is stepping down on December 31 as chief global strategist to start his own macro-economic consulting firm. He will maintain his role as portfolio manager of more than $700 million of TCW assets, a TCW spokesman confirmed.

Cahill, Conn and Bø will be leaving imminently, but the exact date of their departures was not clear, one of the sources said. Cahill and Bø have been with TCW since 1991 and 1998 respectively, while Conn joined the firm in 2005, according to TCW's website.

The TCW spokesman declined to comment about the departures of Conn, Cahill and Bø, and said that they and Sri-Kumar were unavailable for comment.

Carlyle struck a deal in August to buy a 60 percent stake in TCW from French bank Societe Generale (SOGN.PA). TCW management and employees will own the remaining 40 percent stake in the Los Angeles-based fixed income fund manager, which has $135 billion of assets under management.

As part of that deal, TCW named David Lippman, the head of fixed income at the firm, as its president and chief executive, replacing Marc Stern, who was named chairman. The deal is slated to close in the first quarter of 2013.

TCW has also started a cost-cutting campaign to improve its cash flow margins, a measure of how well a company transforms sales into cash.

The executive departures, however, are not related to cost cutting efforts, one source said, noting that recently TCW has invested in aspects of the business.

In early December, TCW Group said it would buy the direct lending funds - with $2 billion in assets - of Regiment Capital Advisors LP, a Boston-based investment manager.

With that acquisition, the firm also agreed to bring on Regiment's seven portfolio managers.

The firm also hired Jess Ravich, formerly head of capital markets at investment bank Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin Inc, as head of alternative products.

(Reporting By Jessica Toonkel)