Tullett Settles With Broker Who Spoke of Racism on U.K. Desk

TP ICAP Plc agreed to settle a lawsuit against former broker Opeyemi Olayanju on the eve of a trial where the court was set to consider his allegations that he was forced to quit because of bullying, harassment and racism.

The two ended the legal fight over Olayanju’s move to a rival firm just hours before a 10-day trial in Dubai, according to people familiar with the case. It’s the second suit that TP ICAP’s Tullett Prebon has settled with its former brokers on the emerging-markets desk in London after initially pursuing them over a job move.

The Black British broker, who hasn’t been able to work for the last 12 months, said earlier this year that he and others on the desk faced rampant discrimination. The brokerage’s culture was nothing like the graduate presentation he was shown that extolled it as a modern workplace, he said. It comes as U.K. regulators step up efforts to hold financial firms and managers accountable for office culture.

Olayanju said he believed he was specifically targeted by managers because of his race. He came into work last October to find his computer cables unplugged alongside two other PCs. The three targeted individuals were ethnic minorities, who didn’t sit near each other.

Executives, he said, told him the incident “was inappropriate conduct,” which appears to have been caused by Olayanju’s manager “being intoxicated.” Two managers later left the firm.

Olayanju and a spokesman for TP ICAP declined to comment Monday.

In July, TP ICAP denied allegations of racial discrimination, saying Olayanju made the claim to fight the Dubai injunction. Executives had suspicions the 26-year-old planned to join rival GMG Brokers while he was still their employee.

While the terms of the settlement agreement are confidential, GMG will make a payment to Tullett, according to an order from the Dubai court. Olayanju’s separate employment case in London has also been withdrawn, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the settlements are private.

The lawsuit came after the company settled a case with two other former brokers who both alleged that they had been forced to resign because of the “intolerable environment” on the desk. The pair were released early from their injunctions.

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