DE Shaw Forcing Employees to Sign New Non-Compete Agreement Under Curious Conditions

DE Shaw is a well-known hedge fund that uses computer algorithms for its trades. Normally a secretive organization, news about it recently leaked out. They are requiring every employee to sign a new non-compete agreement by September 16th or else they will be terminated. However, they will get to keep their deferred compensation.

It’s the September 16th date that is drawing attention. That is the exact date that one of their former managing directors, Daniel Michalow, will have his non-compete agreement with DE Shaw expire. He was fired in May of 2018 after some female colleagues accused him of being sexually inappropriate. His defense was that while he can be a dick sometimes, he would never act that way.

It’s possible the date is coincidental. That is what DE Shaw management is claiming. People don’t really buy that, though, given that this company is well-known for paying attention to every detail. It appears more likely that they are worried Daniel Michalow will woo employees away from DE Shaw to where he now works.

It doesn’t seem likely that employees will walk away from DE Shaw with just a medium-sized check when it would be more prudent to just see how things play out. However, the apparent paranoia that DE Shaw management is exhibiting might drive away portfolio managers who are willing to take their chances elsewhere.

The worst-case scenario for DE Shaw is that some employees refuse to sign the new agreements and instead leave to join Daniel Michalow. This would be evidence that he really is just a jerk and not a monster to his female coworkers. This would especially prove to be the case if some of his former female co-workers left DE Shaw for his outfit.

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