By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - DoubleLine Capital LP, the investment firm run by star bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach, said Friday it has hired four stock analysts and a stock trader to expand its equity management lineup.
The Los Angeles-based firm, which manages over $53 billion in assets, said in a statement it has hired Jonathan Ainley, Sunny Ommanney, Brian Shim and Kristine Smith as stock analysts, and Rodney Boone as an equities trader.
The new hires expand DoubleLine Equity LP, a stock management division the firm launched on Jan. 2, run by portfolio managers Brendt Stallings and Husam Nazer.
Stallings and Nazer were previously group managing directors at TCW Group Inc., another Los Angeles-based firm that had $138.4 billion in assets as of the end of last year.
As head of TCW's Small and Mid-Cap Growth Equities Group, they oversaw as much as $5 billion of assets in stock portfolios at the firm.
Ainley, Shim and Smith also previously worked at TCW, where they were research analysts. Ommanney was formerly chief executive of Nyima Foundation and an equity research associate at Lazard Freres and Provident Investment Counsel. Boone was previously an equities trader at TCW and Bank of America Securities.
The four personnel who previously worked at TCW were members of Stallings' and Nazer's group at the firm, DoubleLine said.
Gundlach, DoubleLine's chief executive and chief investment officer, founded DoubleLine in December 2009 after a split with TCW.
DoubleLine registered three stock mutual funds on Jan. 15: the DoubleLine Equities Small Cap Growth Fund, the DoubleLine Equities Growth Fund and the DoubleLine Equities Global Technology Fund.
Gundlach's flagship DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund attracted $19.7 billion in new cash last year, according to Lipper, making it the most popular mutual fund by asset growth in 2012. The fund currently oversees $39.8 billion in assets.
The fund earned a return of 9.16 percent last year, making it second among U.S. mortgage-focused funds only to the TCW Total Return Bond Fund's return of 13.41 percent.
The DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund is up 1.05 percent so far this year, easily surpassing the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index which is posting a negative 0.32 percent return, according to Lipper.