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A mostly female bank team recorded obscene comments

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Christmas party entertainment in the financial services industry has been mentioned in discrimination cases in the distant past. For example, in 2010, Goldman Sachs was accused of inviting a female attendant in a short black skirt to a sales party. Deutsche Bank accused him of doing much the same thing in 2000.

Today, however, festive events involving offices are more sanitized. Or at least most of them are.

At the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s (CIBC) London office, some of the Christmas spirit of the past seems to be lingering past the deadline. For about 10 years before the addition of the COVID-19 lockdown, CIBC Christmas parties read aloud a book of “sexually suggestive comments” that team members had pointed out the previous year, and asked which one was the best. voted whether

While such things may still be quietly the norm in the most male-dominated corner of the financial industry (inter-dealer brokering), CIBC’s book states that the bank’s former European Chief Executive Paul Atkinson Atkinson’s team was mostly women. Participants were nine women and three men, and most of the comments on the book were made by women.

It’s not entirely clear what the book’s comments meant, aside from the often-told story at CIBC about an executive assistant who was found wearing no underwear when her skirt ripped at a social gathering. . We only know of its existence through a lawsuit filed by his Zhuofang Wei, a Princeton and Stanford alumnus who worked on Atkinson’s team as his director of strategic planning executive.

The Christmas party book was part of a sex and racism lawsuit filed by Wei against CIBC. Yesterday, a court ruled that she was not subjected to sexism or racism in her CIBC, but she was victimized during her dismissal and when she was called Radette. may have been harassed by The harassment allegations had been brought past the deadline for such things.

Part of the problem is that in examples like this one, Way seemed to actively participate in inappropriate behavior. She herself contributed a number of comments to the book, and the court said Atkinson intended “lighthearted fun” to promote a “convivial atmosphere among team members”. He felt that he needed to participate in order to do so, and thought that if he did not participate, he would be shunned.

Atkinson retired in July 2022 and the book no longer exists at CIBC. Wei’s lawsuit reportedly opened Banks’ eyes to the fact that the book may have been “inappropriate” or “misunderstood.” That, and the fact that many women on the team had written in it, suggest that sexism in banking is not always as simple as it seems. Even women can appear to be complicit.

In any event, Wei lost her case despite the book’s existence and despite presenting an audio recording of the male manager’s comments, which she considered sexist. she is”Wei, who earned a total of £247,000 in compensation in 2019, is still working in the industry as a hedge fund risk manager. Her case may prompt other women to think carefully about how their actions will be perceived before going to her court.

Aside from this, Jefferies CEO Rich Handler knows how to spice up his team. In his latest letter to employees sent yesterday, Handler acknowledged that times have been tough (“new issuance activity in global capital markets has fallen off a cliff”) and things aren’t getting much better. Despite what it looks like, Jeffries said, “My growth momentum continues.”

According to Handler, Jeffries isn’t “shrinking down to be successful.” It still “selectively recruits additional A+ talent”. They have “the best team on the street”, have “clever attacks” and have been “acceptable and reasonably productive” this year. Even if you don’t have a lot of investment banking activity, the last quarter can be spent preparing “all the investment banking deals that are in the backlog (and there are a lot of them). ,” says Handler. In other situations it can be a little frustrating. Handler shows us that Christmas is an exciting way to spend the months leading up to his party.

in the meantime…

Jeffries wants people back in the office, but it’s not.”I’m going to see individual names at the turnstile.” (Bloomberg)

Credit Suisse wants to cut 5,000 jobs. (Reuters)

Deutsche Bank believes Credit Suisse has a capital gap of $4.1 billion. We could finance $3.1 billion of that by selling our securitized products business, but there are execution risks involved. Downscaling our high yield trading and leveraged lending businesses can ease our capital requirements. (Bloomberg)

Morgan Stanley said leveraged loans “As interest rates rise, the ‘canary in the credit mine’. However, from now he will have only 9% of his leveraged loans due by the end of 2023. (Marketwatch)

Middle Eastern cryptocurrency exchange Rain Financial was planning to double its staff to 800 this year. Instead, we are reducing our headcount. (Bloomberg)

Students are queuing to take college courses in Bitcoin. The University of Southampton in the UK runs an entire undergraduate program in Fintech. (financial news)

Macro hedge funds are having a strong year. (Bloomberg)

Click here to create a profile with eFinancialCareers. It catches the eye of companies hosting interesting Christmas parties.

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Photo by Jan Kahanek on Unsplash

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