It seems that the stars are in favor of Steven Cohen yet again as the lawsuit accusing his investment firm Point 72 of gender discrimination has been dismissed after getting moved to arbitration by the courts.
The lawsuit was initially brought about by an executive who worked at the company, Lauren Bonner, who wanted the case to remain public till conclusion. However, her employers won the battle to take the case into arbitration where it could be settled away from the public eye, and now the case has been effectively dismissed.
History of the Lawsuit
News of alleged misconduct against women working at Point72 had initially appeared back in February of this year when an employee of the investment firm revealed that the company berated women to the point of creating a toxic working environment for them, such as commenting on their physical appearance, paying them lesser than their male counterparts, and excluding them from meetings solely because of their gender.
Bonner also highlighted a few statistical figures to support her narrative of discriminatory practices at the workplace with respect to gender. According to her, out of every 125 portfolio managers who worked at the company, and out of every 30 managing directors that oversaw operations, only 1 was a woman.
Considering such low numbers of female representation in the workforce, Bonner sought to provide support to her argument that Point72 had a male-dominated culture.
The firm Point72 is an asset management company dealing with confidential information and hence largely remains out of public eye even though its net worth stands at $11 billion and it enjoys business with the top banks in the US.
Thankfully for Mr. Cohen, he has not been personally accused of any misconduct against women in the lawsuit, hence the only damage repair he has to do pertains to his company.
When the lawsuit first surfaced, the firm categorically denied all allegations and promised to offer defense wherever demanded by the legal system. However, only a month later, in March 2018, president of the firm Douglas D. Haynes, offered up his resignation from the post.
Haynes was one of the defendants named in the lawsuit, as Bonner had accused Haynes of belittling the women in the company, calling them names to undermine their intelligence.
The firm, located in Stamford, Connecticut, denied all allegations made by Ms. Bonner, and pushed the court to move the case into arbitration. Come October, that request has finally been granted.
Initial Consideration for Arbitration
In July, a judge had ruled that the case be evaluated by an arbitration judge to assess whether it held weight according to law pertaining to gender discrimination at the workplace.
After evaluation of Bonner’s employment contract with the firm, Judge Analisa Torres highlighted the fact that any case moved by Bonner must be settled through arbitration according to the agreement she signed with the company, thereby the lawsuit filed by Bonner needed to be placed on hold.
However, news that the case was being moved to arbitration greatly displeased Bonner’s legal team, who were hoping for the proceedings to become a matter of public interest considering the popularity of the #MeToo campaign could’ve helped it gain further traction and support from the general public. In arbitration, gaining that kind of public support had become almost impossible.
The Future for Bonner
It’s uncertain what the future holds for Bonner now that her case has been dismissed in arbitration. It was revealed that she was still working at Point72 even throughout the case proceedings, although the nature of her relationship with the investment firm moving forward remains uncertain.
After all, for someone who acted as the company’s head of talent analytics, it would be a major decision by Bonner whether she chooses to stay or leave the company now that the lawsuit she had filed earlier this year been finally dismissed.
Regardless, changes in the management structure have already come about, although it’s uncertain whether Bonner’s lawsuit has encouraged their occurrence or not. For example, Cohen has taken over as the President of the company, and if an internal memo addressed to employees is to be trusted, he aims to work towards establishing a different form of leadership.