Wall Street firm BTIG had a toxic party culture that was stuck in the '80s, former employees say

The financial-services industry has tried to clean up its image, but shades of an earlier era on Wall Street have lingered at the firm BTIG in recent years, a Business Insider investigation has found.Samantha Lee/Business Insider
  • The financial-services industry has tried to clean up its image in recent years, but shades of an earlier era on Wall Street have lingered at the firm BTIG, a Business Insider investigation has found.
  • Interviews with more than half a dozen former BTIG employees, and a review of court records and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission documents, reveal allegations of a boys'-club culture, excessive drinking at company events, and sexual banter at least into 2019.

In December, the financial-services firm BTIG made a surprise announcement: The company would no longer serve alcohol at its winter holiday party, which had gained a reputation on Wall Street as an annual anything-goes affair.

Instead, the company said, it would opt for healthier alternatives such as smoothies and fruit-infused water, offering activities like yoga and bootcamp-style workouts.

As a new generation of finance professionals enters the workforce, the financial industry has struggled to convince the public that it now embraces groups that Wall Street has long excluded. For BTIG, rebranding its holiday party with a more wholesome touch — it had been a raucous, lavish event for employees and clients held at swanky New York nightclubs like Catch and Provocateur — was an attempt to do just that. (Neither venue responded to requests for comment.)Advertisement

But as the firm, which is privately held with main offices in New York and San Francisco, attempts to tweak its image outwardly, some of the old Wall Street ways persisted internally in recent years, Business Insider has learned.

Interviews with more than half a dozen employees who left the firm within the past six years, as well as a review of court records and documents from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, revealed allegations of a boys'-club culture marked by conduct that some described as inappropriate workplace behavior, excessive drinking at company events, and sexual banter.

YOU CAN READ THE FULL STORY HERE: Former employees say BTIG, a Wall Street firm backed by Goldman Sachs and Blackstone, had a toxic party culture that was stuck in the '80s

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