The hedge fund industry is not exactly known for prizing a healthy work-life balance. But Genesis Investment Management is different. It just wants its people to relax. Chill out. Not take everything so goddamned seriously. I mean, YOLO, right? And who wants to spend that one life engaged in endless drudgery in some stuffy office trying to make a few extra basis points for clients? Well, Sedef Koktenturk, for one.
An email sent by Koktenturk’s line manager to another colleague referred to her “irrational” hours, which perhaps “comes from Goldman.” Chris Ellyatt, the Genesis managing director who sent the email, said in a witness statement that his comment about “this not being Goldman Sachs” was entirely related to her not needing to put in “silly hours.”
“The fact that Sedef had previously worked at Goldman Sachs did not give me a pre-determined view of her,” Ellyatt said in the statement. “That said, in the finance industry it is well understood that Goldman Sachs has a unique culture and it demands much of its employees -- there is a very strong ‘presenteeism’ ethic which we do not have at Genesis.”
Of course, one might suggest that Koktenturk made abundantly clear what kind of worker she was: After all, in addition to her time at Goldman Sachs, she’s also an Olympian, and you don’t usually make it to the Olympics without a certain degree of “presenteeism.” One might even suggest that if a firm does not care for the sort of work ethic they instill at Goldman (or, at least, the work ethic they used to instill at Goldman) to the extent of (allegedly) asking Goldman vets to scrub the firm’s name from their résumés, one shouldn’t hire people from Goldman.
Koktenturk, however, has a different sense of the sort of people they don’t like hiring at Genesis, and they are far more numerous than the former Elect.
Sedef Koktenturk sued London-based Genesis Investment Management for sex discrimination after she was fired following informal complaints about her management style.
She alleged in the suit that the fund applied double-standards when it came to the behavior of her and her male colleagues, and that if she were a man, her “success and direct approach” would have been prized by the firm. Genesis denies the claim and is defending the suit.
She also suggests that if you’re looking for a place to park your money, Genesis might not be the best destination, particularly if you’d like that money to make as much additional money for you as possible, the traditional reason for investing in a hedge fund.
In her witness statement, she said Genesis partners tried to distinguish it “from the Goldman Sachs (and the traditional city) emphasis on long hours, hard work and high expectations.” Yet nobody told her anything along the lines that Genesis didn’t push people too hard and that having a happy team was prioritized, she said.
“Ultimately, Genesis is an asset management company, and, like any asset management company, their number one priority is making money,” Koktenturk said.
According to the transcript, she left the "or is it?" unsaid.
Ex-Goldman Banker Says Fund Told Her to Cut Firm From Her Resume [Bloomberg via Yahoo]
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