London Trader Gerald to Skip Playboy Club Party Next Year

(Bloomberg) -- Gerald Group, a metals trader that threw a party at London’s Playboy Club last week, will chose a different location next year.

The company said there were never any issues with the party and the behavior of employees and guests has been “totally respectful," according to an e-mailed statement. The Playboy Club in London is a casino where women serve drinks and dance with guests while wearing low-cut, black satin leotards and fluffy tails.

“This is a professional event,” said the company, which calls itself the oldest pure physical metals merchant. “A decision has already been taken to choose an alternative venue for 2019.”

Gerald’s decision to host the Playboy Club party came under fire from U.K. politicians including John McDonnell, the U.K.’s shadow chancellor, who criticized it as inappropriate. For several years, the company ran the event, which was timed to coincide with LME Week, a major get-together for the mining and metals industry in London.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Gerald highlighted the number of women holding key positions. It announced it would name two women, Pat Crepeault and Min Zhang, to its board of directors.

In the year after the #MeToo movement, the way companies treat women is increasingly under public scrutiny. Some of the biggest British companies have been publicly shamed for their gender pay gap and senior executives around the world were toppled by sexual harassment allegations.

The seamy nightlife of LME Week, a major networking event for London’s commodity executives, is one of the reasons why the industry is viewed by some as unwelcoming and difficult to navigate for women.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.