Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Emma Hinchliffe here to kick off the week. Kirsten Gillibrand makes 2020 official, Jacinda Ardern is in a more somber spotlight, and a #MeToo case marks a milestone for Wall Street. Have a mindful Monday.
• #MeToo on Wall Street. For months and months, finance insiders have been asking when the #MeToo movement would come for Wall Street. (And, as we’ve covered previously, some of the men in the industry have been taking paranoid and counter-productive steps to “protect themselves” from possible accusations.)
Now, one of the first major Wall Street sexual harassment allegations appears headed to trial.
Sara Tirschwell was an investor raising a new distressed debt fund for TCW, a quiet but hugely powerful asset management firm. When she joined the firm in 2016, her ex-boyfriend, Jess Ravich, was her boss. Relationships between a direct report and their manager were prohibited at the company, but TCW knew about the pair’s history and both had agreed to keep things professional. Tirschwell alleges that Ravich quickly began pressuring her into having sex.
According to the New York Times, Tirschwell reportedly “worried that if she refused him, the fund itself”—the reason she was hired—”would never get off the ground.” And her concerns may have had merit: she says that when she stopped having sex with Ravich in early 2017, he withdrew support for her fund.
Tirschwell was fired nine days after she filed a sexual harassment claim. The firm cited other reasons: five violations (of the finance kind) and past concerns about not meeting the targets in her contract.
And, in yet another twist to already complicated case, Tirschwell appears to be having difficulty remembering the details of some of the alleged encounters with her then boss.
The most unusual aspect of the case, though, is that it’s playing out in court; most Wall Street grievances are settled in private. The rarity of this public forum provides an important reminder: just because we’re not hearing about allegations of sexual harassment in certain industries does not mean the abuse doesn’t exist.
New York Times
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• A CEO promotion at PepsiCo. Fortune‘s Beth Kowitt has the exclusive this morning on a management shake-up at PepsiCo. CEO Ramon Laguarta has promoted Paula Santilli to CEO of PepsiCo’s Latin America operation, a $7.4 billion business. Santilli came up through PepsiCo’s Latin America operation and was most recently president of PepsiCo Mexico Foods. She arrived at PepsiCo through its acquisition of Quaker Oats.
• Gillibrand 2020. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand officially entered the 2020 race yesterday. (While you could be forgiven for thinking she was already a candidate, the senator was technically only “exploring a run” until this weekend.) The announcement featured a video that billed Gillibrand as “a leader who makes big, bold, brave choices.” She’ll deliver her first speech as a presidential candidate next weekend outside a Trump hotel in New York. Meanwhile, male candidates Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke recently suggested they’d commit to picking a woman as their vice president.
• Another side of Ardern. Since the terror attack in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been in the spotlight. Until now, most of the international coverage she’s received had centered around her giving birth while in office, so the current attention places her against a new backdrop.
New York Times
• Clinton confrontation. This weekend, Chelsea Clinton attended a vigil in honor of the victims of the New Zealand mosque massacre. At the service, two NYU students, Leen Dweik and Rose Asaf, confronted Clinton over what they saw as the hypocrisy between her presence there and her criticism of Rep. Ilhan Omar as “traffic[king] in anti-Semitism.” Their point: Clinton was one of the first high-profile figures to condemn Omar’s recent remarks, giving momentum to that story and fueling anti-Muslim sentiment directed at Omar. Friday’s encounter escalated as the video went viral, triggering a flood of social media abuse against the student who posted it; Dweik and Asaf wrote an op-ed about their decision to confront the former first daughter.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: YouTube star Lilly Singh is taking over NBC’s 1:30 a.m. late-night slot occupied by Last Call With Carson Daly with A Little Late With Lilly Singh, making her the only woman on network late night and the first in more than 30 years. Sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• A meddling predecessor. The Democrat-Reporter in Alabama saw its editor Goodloe Sutton resign after he called for the “Ku Klux Klan to ride again” in an editorial. He was replaced by Elecia R. Dexter, a black woman who worked at the paper. But after only a few weeks, Dexter has stepped down because Sutton kept interfering.
New York Times
• Operation clean-up. What’s German for ‘glass cliff’? We may want to ask Hiltrud Werner, head of integrity on Volkswagen’s management board. The only woman on the board, she’s been tasked with cleaning up the automaker’s diesel scandal. Werner doesn’t like to be portrayed as a woman cleaning up the men’s mess; many women—she points out—were charged in Dieselgate investigations.
• Cindy’s story. Have you been following the story of Cindy Yang? She first appeared in the news last month when New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was arrested for soliciting sex at a massage parlor that she had previously owned—placing her other businesses, including one promising rich Chinese clients access to President Trump’s orbit, under scrutiny. This story has a lot more on Yang’s history, hustle, and how she came to be a part of Republican politics.
New York Times