Claims of sexism at billionaire’s firm moved to arbitration
STAMFORD — A lawsuit alleging hostile, sexist and discriminatory conduct by male executives at billionaire Steven Cohen’s investment firm in Connecticut has been dismissed following the case’s move private arbitration, taking the dispute out of the public eye.
Documents filed recently in federal court in New York show Stamford-based Point72 Asset Management and Lauren Bonner, an executive at the firm who filed the lawsuit, agreed to a dismissal of the lawsuit amid the arbitration. A judge approved the dismissal Oct. 1.
Lawyers for both sides did not immediately return messages seeking comment Tuesday. A spokeswoman said Tuesday that Point72 was not going to comment.
Cohen’s firm denied the allegations and said the lawsuit was without merit.
Bonner, who remains at the firm as an executive officer and head of talent analytics, alleged women there were harshly mistreated, paid less than their male peers, subjected to sexist and “repulsive” behavior and passed over for promotion. She sued the firm, Cohen and Point72’s then-president Douglas Haynes in February.
Among the allegations was that Haynes kept a derogatory word referring to the female anatomy on a white board in his office for several weeks. The lawsuit also said executives openly expressed their disdain for women, one official declared before meetings that no “girls” were allowed, and a paid consultant for the firm gave another Point72 executive permission to have sex with his female employee.
The lawsuit said Cohen “participated in, ratified and/or approved” discriminatory decisions, including pay and promotion decisions that affected Bonner, who has been called “the face of #metoo on Wall Street” by The New Yorker.
Haynes resigned shortly after the lawsuit was filed. It was never made clear whether the departure was related to the lawsuit.
Bonner did not immediately return a message Tuesday. An automatic reply sent from her Point72 email account said she was on medical leave.
She and her New York-based lawyers, Jeanne Christensen and Michael Willemin, initially fought Point72’s efforts to move the case to arbitration, saying they wanted her claims aired and adjudicated in public.
U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres wrote in a July ruling that it was clear Bonner’s employment agreement contained an arbitration clause.