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When Citi's Tim Gately dismissed a "good guy" for breach of conduct

Tim Gately, Citi's US head of equities, is no shirker when it comes to imposing conduct rules on wayward employees. And yet some people inside the bank are questioning why Gately wasn't stricter with Mani Singh, the ex-Citi managing director named in a recent complaint against the bank.

Late last month, Ardith Lindsey, a New York MD in Citi's electronic execution and advisory services team in New York, filed a case accusing Citi of gender discrimination and creating a hostile work environment in relation to Singh, a more senior ex-Citi MD with whom Lindsey says she had a coercive relationship.

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Singh, who is not a defendant in the case, left Citi in 2022 after Lindsey disclosed the threatening texts he'd sent to her while they were both employed there. A spokesman for Citi described the texts as "deplorable" and said Singh resigned after being placed on leave and while Citi was conducting an investigation into his behavior. 

When Singh resigned, however, Lindsey claims that Gately, who was Singh's boss, publicly lamented his exit, despite being fully aware of the threatening texts he'd sent. Among other things, Gately is alleged to have declared on a call to 150 Citi equity employees that, “We’re all very sorry to see him [Singh] go and certainly grateful to the contributions he has made over the years. But it was his decision, and we wish him well.” 

Citi plans to defend itself against Lindsey's claims in court and denies any wrongdoing, but acknowledges that Singh's texts to her were inappropriate. 

Neither Citi nor Gately provided additional comments for this article, but Gately has been willing to enforce behavioral standards at Citi in the past. - In 2014 he was single handedly responsible for firing David Madaras, a former Citi FX trader for sending a chatroom message that wrongly disclosed a client's name.

Madaras subsequently tried (and failed) to sue Citi for unfair dismissal. A London judge found that the dismissal was fair, and noted that Gately had acted unilaterally to snuff out Madaras's misconduct. - In normal situations, Citi required three business people to review a breach of conduct claim that led to dismissal, but in that case Gately made the decision "alone." Gately did so even though he deemed Madaras a “good guy” and said he was "gutted" to let him go for what was a comparatively minor infringement. 

Madaras, who now runs a fuel management software platform for aviation, was a comparatively junior trader at the time. Singh, who was Citi's former global head of platform sales and who'd worked at the bank for over a decade, was far more senior and his transgressions seem to have been far greater. Some at the bank are therefore questioning why Gately's valedictory message to Singh was so positive. "Gately made those comments, and Citi permitted him to do so," claims Lindsey, arguing that they were inappropriate in the circumstances. 

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Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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