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Money manager TCW Group loses CEO Beyer

June 1, 2009 |  4:20 pm

L.A.-based money manager TCW Group, which hopes to launch itself as a publicly traded firm in the next few years, won’t be doing so under current Chief Executive Robert D. Beyer.

In a surprise, the 49-year-old Beyer will step down at the end of this month after less than four years in the job, TCW announced today.

In a letter to some of his colleagues, Beyer said he was leaving because he believed the company would need a different style of management as it makes the transition to being an independent firm. He said the decision to depart was his alone.

Beyer It ought to be an interesting job opening for the growing universe of restless Wall Streeters, as the financial industry continues to shrink: TCW, parent of Trust Co. of the West, manages about $100 billion in stocks and bonds, mainly for institutional clients such as public pension funds, companies and universities.

The company has been majority-owned by banking giant Societe Generale of France since 2001, when TCW founder Robert A. Day sold Societe a controlling stake.

But like many banks, Societe Generale has been rethinking its long-term business plan amid the upheaval in the global financial system. In January, Societe agreed to merge its European and Asian money management operations with those of rival Credit Agricole.

Although TCW will remain part of Societe for now, the plan announced in January calls for TCW to be spun off as its own company within five years.

The 65-year-old Day, who has remained chairman of the company, said Vice Chairman Marc I. Stern would take over as interim CEO on July 1. Stern, also 65, had been president of the firm from 1990 to 2005.

Beyer follows William Sonneborn out the door. Sonneborn, 39, stepped down as president of TCW last year to become CEO of KKR Financial Holdings.

-- Tom Petruno

Photo: Robert D. Beyer. Credit: TCW