Fund manager awarded record $52m for firm's #MeToo claims

The former DE Shaw employee was wrongly accused of sexual misconduct according to US financial regulatory panel

Fund manager awarded record $52m for firm's #MeToo claims
Steve Randall

A fund manager who was accused of sexual misconduct in 2018 has been awarded millions of dollars by a financial regulator.

Daniel Michalow was caught up in the wave of #MeToo cases that were dominating headlines at the time and said he was being used as a scapegoat by his employer, DE Shaw & Co.

Last week, an arbitration panel of the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) said that Michalow had not committed sexual misconduct and ordered the hedge fund firm and four of its executives to pay him the US$52 million record amount.

Michalow has maintained his innocence following DE Shaw’s allegation of “gross violations of our standards and values.”

According to the Financial Times (FT), he was accused of making an inappropriate comment about hiring a new team member; he denied the allegation but was presented with a “retirement agreement” setting out the terms of the “voluntary termination” of his employment.

The FT reports that Michalow and DE Shaw could not agree terms and he was fired with the firm claiming multiple reports of misconduct, something he denies.

Seeking $600 million

DE Shaw dismissed claims in an initial filing with Finra seeking $600 million in damages, calling his account of his dismissal inaccurate.

In a statement following the Finra panel’s decision, DE Shaw said it stands by its decision to terminate Michalow’s employment in 2018.

Michalow’s lawyer, Tom Clare, said that the Finra finding shows that the firm’s conduct was “legally and morally wrong.”