Cenkos Analyst Says He Was Bullied, Harassed Then Forced Outby
Navid Malik sues Cenkos, claiming he was dismissed unfairly
Malik left firm amid allegations of financial impropriety
A Cenkos Securities Plc analyst who left the company amid allegations he had an improper relationship with a drug developer said he suffered a "campaign of harassment" for blowing the whistle on misconduct by senior colleagues.
Navid Malik, the company’s former head of life sciences research, said he suffered three years of "massive" bullying, harassment and racism before being left with no option but to quit, he said in a witness statement submitted to a London employment court Tuesday.
Malik left Cenkos in December 2015 after allegations of impropriety were published in an Oct. 28 report by Phase Five Research. The research firm, which publishes reports criticizing health-care companies, said Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc. transferred $5 million of securities to a vehicle incorporated by Malik shortly after he published a bullish report on the drug developer.
The allegations in the report are "unfounded and untrue," Malik said in his witness statement. He said he had become a thorn in the side of Cenkos "because of the complaints I had made and they used the publication of the Phase Five report to get me out."
Malik was awarded a 250,000 pound ($319,000) bonus for his work in 2013 after being led to expect as much as 700,000 pounds, he said. He was disappointed once more when he was awarded 190,000 pounds the following year, he said.
A spokesman for London-based Cenkos declined to comment. Lawyers for Malik at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher didn’t immediately return a call for comment. A spokesman for Northwest Biotherapeutics, which develops drugs to fight cancer, didn’t immediately respond to calls and an e-mail seeking comment.
Malik became a non-executive director at Northwest in 2012 after seeking and receiving approval from Cenkos, he said in his statement.