Top Metals Gathering Targets Strip-Club Parties in Cleanup Bid

(Bloomberg) -- The organizer of the metals industry’s largest annual gathering is looking to outlaw sleazy parties at venues such as lapdancing clubs and casinos under a new code of conduct.

The new rules come as the London Metal Exchange seeks to stamp out sexist entertainment that has long been a feature at some events during the LME Week gathering in London every fall. While many brokerages and trading houses have already pledged to avoid questionable venues, the restrictions are designed to block companies from hosting LME Week-branded gatherings at such locations in the future.

The focus on the seamy underside of LME Week has intensified in the wake of the #MeToo movement, with Gerald Group last year coming in for criticism for its decision to host an event at the Playboy Club in Mayfair. At the venue, female staff in low-cut, black satin leotards and fluffy tails serve drinks and dance with guests. Stringfellows, the infamous London strip club, was offering free entry and drinks as part of an LME Week promotion last year.

Gerald Group later said it would hold its party at a different location this year. Future events will be held at venues that are “clearly appropriate,” it reiterated in a statement last week.

The new LME code of conduct states that events “should not take place at venues which, by the nature of entertainment offered or other activities undertaken, could make some market participants uncomfortable in attending.” Any company breaching the code may be reported to the LME’s general counsel, regulators and law enforcement authorities, the bourse said.

The code also outlines a broader set of behavioral standards for staff, attendees at events hosted by the LME, and the firms that trade on the bourse’s famous open-outcry trading floor. The industry should collectively strive to create an inclusive and respectful environment for all participants, and act to stamp out intimidation and harassment of any kind, the code states.

Women accounted for less than 5 percent of senior management at top trading houses, Bloomberg reported last year.

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