It’s no secret that Stevie Cohen and S.A.C. Capital Management like to keep secrets. Cohen owns the media rights to publish his photographs, makes traders in his group swear on their lives that they won’t disclose any information, never shares his ideas with others and types all correspondence in ǃ’OǃKung.
A New York County Supreme Court decision from May 17, 2007, regarding the alleged sexual harassment of former S.A.C. employee, Andrew Z. Tong, by current S.A.C. employee (and top trader, Yoko Ono neighbor), Ping Jiang, reveals a thin layer of understanding from the culture of secrecy and freakishness onion up in Stamford, CT. Tong first met Jiang back in 1998, when they were both working in the emerging markets department of Lehman Brothers. They went their separate ways in 2001 but kept in touch, and in 2005, Jiang offered Tong a job at S.A.C. Tong took the job, and worked there until his termination, effective April 10, 2006, later claiming that during that time he was subjected to sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, discrimination and retaliation by defendants. So far, so good (there’s nothing ground breaking about sexual harassment, it happens at all the best firms, if you’re lucky).
Some details in the court documents, however, cause pause:
On July 24, Tong met with Jiang both alone and with other members of Jiang's group. Jiang told Tong about his top secret training philosophy, which was to include a program of strict confidentiality and the elimination of Tong's alleged personality flaws by requiring him to wear certain kinds of clothing at work.
What is this “top secret training philosophy”? What kinds of clothes eliminate personality flaws? Are they made of spandex? And if so, are they bike shorts? With piping down the side? Warm-up suits? CORDUROY?? And is this why S.A.C.’s been so successful? Have any of our various hedgie readers ever unwittingly (or wittingly) taken part in something like this? Get it off your chests immediately. We’ve respected Cohen’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy long enough.
Tong v S.A.C. Capital Mgt., LLC