Sunny Tadjudin’s allegation that her manager at Bank of America Corp. transferred a losing position to her to increase his bonus is “complete nonsense,” the bank’s lawyer said.
John Liptak, the manager, had the Indonesian distressed-debt assets in his portfolio from his previous job at another bank, the lawyer Adrian Huggins said in Hong Kong’s High Court yesterday. It was rational to transfer the assets to Tadjudin as she was principally responsible for Indonesia at their group at Bank of America, Huggins said.
Tadjudin, fired in 2007, is seeking HK$28.3 million ($3.7 million) in bonuses she says she deserves after generating three quarters of the Asia distressed-debt group’s profits from 2005 to 2007. Liptak “engineered” her dismissal so he could take over her profitable portfolio and avoid paying her a bonus, she claims.
“Do you agree that it was perfectly rational, given you were ‘Miss Indonesia,’ for you to have those assets in your portfolio?” Huggins asked.
Tadjudin, a 50-year-old Chinese Indonesian, replied that she handled projects outside of her native country and Liptak had asked her to take over the Indonesian assets.
She claims she had discovered that asset prices of various companies within the Asia Pulp and Paper Group were mismarked in Bank of America’s books. Tadjudin said she reported this and her evaluation for 2005 was lowered on the same day in retaliation.
Tadjudin didn’t accept Huggins’s suggestion the bank could have reduced her evaluation because she missed her profit target that year.
She accepted today that figures Huggins discussed showed five out of ten members of the bank’s distressed debt group globally had a better profit contribution than her in 2005, providing a rational reason for her ranking to be altered.
Huggins asked Tadjudin yesterday if the bank’s motive in the alleged loss-dumping incident was to benefit Liptak or due to sexual discrimination, as she claims in a separate lawsuit.
“This is all part of the interlinked factual matrix,” she said in response.
Tadjudin had said earlier that female employees of the group she worked for were expected to take a back seat.
“I do not think it is uncommon in the investment-banking industry to marginalize a woman in order to support a man,” she said on Jan. 13.
Mark Tsang, a spokesman in Hong Kong for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, declined to comment on the case.
The case is Tadjudin Sunny v. Bank of America, National Association, HCA322/2008 in Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance. The discrimination case is DCEO4/2009 in Hong Kong District Court.