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Point72 Executive Asks for Public Airing of Sexism Claims

Updated on
  • Steven Cohen and Point72 claim Lauren Bonner must arbitrate
  • Bonner claims ‘pervasive structural sexism’ at the firm
Cohen's Conundrum to Change the Culture at Point72

A female executive who’s suing Steven A. Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management LP asked a judge to reject the firm’s efforts to push her gender discrimination lawsuit into confidential arbitration.

Point72 and Cohen claim Lauren Bonner is required by her employment contract to arbitrate disputes with the firm. Bonner claimed in court papers filed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court that the arbitration provision doesn’t apply and that she should have her day in court. A judge had already denied Point72’s request to seal Bonner’s lawsuit.

Bonner’s filing comes just days after former McKinsey & Co. consultant Doug Haynes left the hedge fund amid allegations by Bonner and former employees that the $11 billion firm is run as a "boy’s club" where women face discrimination and lower pay than men. Haynes, who was hired by Point72 to improve oversight at the firm, is named as a defendant in Bonner’s case.

"Bonner seeks to shed light on pervasive structural sexism at Point72 and hold accountable defendants Point72, Cohen, Haynes and other executives at the company for their shameful and unlawful conduct," her lawyers said in the filing. The move to try to force the case into arbitration shows that "they will go to any and all lengths to keep their unlawful and discriminatory conduct shrouded in secrecy and concealed from public scrutiny."

Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for Point72, declined to comment on the filing. Point72 has previously denied the allegations of discriminatory conduct.

Bonner, who joined Point72 in August 2016, alleges the firm hired and promoted fewer women than men, paid her less than male counterparts with equal or fewer responsibilities and had only one woman portfolio manager and only one female managing director.

Steven Cohen’s Point72 Is Accused of Sexism in Workplace

Bonner, an associate director, claimed the firm hired a man from the Blackstone Group in April 2017, paying him $1.3 million to manage a team of five to eight people while she made 35 percent of that for managing a team of 14.

The case is Bonner v. Point72 Asset Management, 18-cv-01233, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

(Updates with background of case.)
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