Point72 Judge Urged Not to Cloak Allegations of Gender Bias

(Bloomberg) -- Steven Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management LP is trying to hide its misconduct from public scrutiny by attempting to force an associate director’s gender-bias lawsuit into arbitration, the woman suing the firm said.

Lauren Bonner sued Point72 earlier this month in federal court in New York, claiming it discriminates against women and promotes a sexist culture. After the suit was filed, the firm asked a judge to seal her complaint from public view and force the claims to be heard in arbitration, saying she agreed to have employment-related disputes heard in a private judging forum.

Bonner on Friday urged the judge to reject both requests, saying the move to seal the case is based on "conclusory, self-serving and unsubstantiated assertions about potential harm" and that the firm failed to offer one fact in support. She said Point72’s motive for arbitration "is to secure secrecy and conceal its alleged unlawful and discriminatory conduct from public scrutiny."

Bonner’s suit was filed as Cohen is transforming his Stamford, Connecticut-based family office into a hedge fund after being banned from investing other people’s money for two years when his former fund, SAC Capital Advisors, pleaded guilty to insider trading and paid a $1.8 billion fine.

"Point72’s position appears motivated by a desire to avoid bad publicity about its failure to treat female employees fairly and equally under the laws and pay them what the law requires,” Bonner said in Friday’s filing.

The case is Bonner v. Point72 Asset Management LP, 18-cv-1233, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.

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