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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

TCW Replaces an Embattled Board Member

News summary by MFWire's editors

An embattled TCW [profile] board member stepped down, and the 28-year company veteran taking his place will be the sole woman on the nine-member board.

On Thursday David Lippman, president and CEO of TCW, confirmed that Penny Foley, PM, group managing director, and co-head of the emerging markets and international equities group, has been appointed to the Los Angeles-based company's board of directors. Foley succeeds Jess Ravich, who stepped down from the board but continues to serve as group managing director and head of alternative products.

The move comes as Ravich, Lippman, and TCW are defending against a sexual harassment lawsuit from former PM Sara Tirschwell. Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Business Journal both report that, thanks to an independent investigation by a law firm hired by TCW, the company "learned of some unprofessional communications between Mr. Ravich and Ms. Tirschwell," according to Lippman.

"Because we have always maintained that the facts of this case, determined through due process, will determine our actions, TCW is now taking certain disciplinary measures with respect to Mr. Ravich," Lippman reportedly told employees in a memo.

Tirschwell tells Bloomberg that Ravich's board departure is "too little too late" and says she stands by her complaint.

TCW fired Tirschwell last December, and she sued in January, accusing Ravich of coercing her into sex and withdrawing support when she broke things off, and accusing TCW of manufacturing a pretext to fire her. TCW maintains that Tirschwell was forced out because of compliance problems, which a Tirschwell spokesperson calls a smear campaign. Text messages have factored in to the legal battle.

Meanwhile, Ravich's board successor, Foley, is a familiar face at the company. She joined in 1990 after working with Drexel Burnham Lambert, Citicorp, and Lehman Brothers. She is an alumna of Northwestern and of Hollins College.

"Penny brings considerable industry and global markets experience, as well as a deep understanding of TCW's business, to this role on the board," Lippman states. "As the long-time co-head of TCW's second largest strategy, Penny has consistently demonstrated a strong track record of leadership, business acumen, and sound judgment, and we look forward to her contributions." 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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