Ex-BNY Capital Markets Head Says He Was Fired in Age `Purge'

Updated on
  • Gary Strumeyer sues bank claiming age discrimination
  • Former executive says bank was looking for ‘young talent’

A former president of Bank of New York Mellon Corp.’s broker-dealer subsidiary said he was fired last year as part of a "purge" of the bank’s older managers.

Gary Strumeyer, 56, sued BNY Mellon in Manhattan federal court claiming age discrimination and retaliation. He said he was fired in September after 32 years at the bank, beginning as a 23-year-old trainee and worked his way to the presidency of BNY Capital Markets where he supervised 150 employees. He was in charge of fixed-income and equity sales, trading and underwriting before his dismissal.

"In 2015 he turned 54, an age where bank executives began to question why Strumeyer would want to continue working,” according to the complaint. “When Strumeyer asked to be considered for a promotion after his boss left, he was told that he was ‘too old,’ that he was not on the bank’s ‘radar screen,’ and that the bank wanted ‘young talent.’"

Strumeyer is seeking unspecified damages. The bank declined to comment on Strumeyer’s allegations.

The former executive claimed that under his leadership, his group exceeded the bank’s revenue goals in 2015 and 2016, but his promised bonus was cut to $1.5 million from $2.1 million.

Strumeyer said he was passed over for a promotion in August 2015 in favor of a 41-year-old woman. She dismissed older workers, including the 51-year-old head of foreign exchange, the head of technology, a man in his 50s, and the chief operating officer, who was in his 60s, according to the complaint. All were replaced with younger employees, Strumeyer said.

According to Strumeyer, she called one executive "old and forgetful" and disparaged a committee within the group as "an embarrassing bunch of old guys."

A few days after he was fired, the bank agreed to keep him on until January 2017, when his new book was to be released, Strumeyer said. It also insisted that Strumeyer agree to a public announcement saying he had decided to retire, according to the complaint.

Strumeyer is the author of three books: "Keys to Investing in Municipal Bonds," "Investing in Fixed Income Securities: Understanding the Bond Market," and "The Capital Markets: The Evolution of the Financial Eco-System."

After he complained he was fired because of his age, the bank retaliated by reneging on the promise to let him stay on until January and notified him through a lawyer on Oct. 19, 2016, that he was no longer to report to work, Strumeyer said.

“The bank effectively locked Strumeyer out of his office,” according to the complaint.

The case is Strumeyer v. Bank of New York Mellon, 17-cv-05432, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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