Warren Woo was terminated as managing director of Monroe Capital over “serious violations of company policies relating to confidentiality and appropriate use of information systems,” Theodore L. Koenig, president and CEO of Monroe Capital, said in a statement the company e-mailed to Pensions & Investments.
A lawsuit filed June 19 by Monroe Capital and related firms against Mr. Woo alleges he took “confidential, proprietary, and critical information and trade secrets from Monroe” to assist a competing firm he was helping to form, Breakaway Capital, a private equity firm. The suit is pending in U.S. District Court in Chicago before Judge Milton Shadur.
Breakaway Capital and other related firms, as well as Michael Connolly, founder and general partner, also are named as defendants in the suit.
Mr. Woo — who is founder and managing general partner of Breakaway Capital and part of the investor group that purchased the Nashville Predators franchise of the National Hockey League in 2007 — and Mr. Connolly couldn't be reached for comment.
“Our company's rules are strict with regard to these activities as well as with our clients' confidential information so that we can maintain the highest integrity and trust with our customers,” Mr. Koenig said.
Michael Dockterman, partner with Edwards Wildman Palmer law firm, representing Monroe, said clients were not affected by the alleged breach.
Monroe is seeking the return of the information and a court order to prevent Mr. Woo and other defendants from using it. Monroe also reserves the right in the suit to seek damages, Mr. Dockterman said.
The $11.6 billion Orange County Employees Retirement System, Santa Ana, Calif., and $7 billion New Hampshire Retirement System, Concord, are among asset owners that are Monroe Capital clients.
“We will need to take a look at it,” said Girard Miller, chief investment officer, OCERS, which invested $70 million in a Monroe Capital-managed direct lending strategy in 2012. “We do make recommendations to the board regarding personnel changes. With Ted Koenig remaining at the helm, we have to take a look if one individual would have any impact.”
Marty Karlon, public information officer, NHRS, which invested $50 million in a Monroe Capital senior secured direct loan fund in 2013, said officials have no comment.