Pimco Sued Over ‘Fraternity’ Culture by Minority Ex-Workers

By | May 18, 2022
New You can now listen to Insurance Journal articles!

Pacific Investment Management Co. now has both men and women suing over a “fraternity” culture that allegedly favors White males.

Two men, a Black ex-employee and a former contractor who is Asian, claim minority professionals at the money manager are promoted in fewer numbers, earn less for equal work and are often denied mentorship opportunities to help them rise up the ranks.

Pimco has discriminatory performance evaluations and unfair promotion and job assignment policies that sideline minorities, Andre Dowtin and Patrick Kim said in a complaint filed in California’s Orange County Superior Court.

The company denied the claims Tuesday, just as it said there’s no merit to complaints filed in 2020 and 2021 by a handful of women making similar allegations.

“The lawsuits themselves are baseless and an affront both to PIMCO and to the facts,” Michael Reid, a Pimco spokesperson, said in an emailed statement. “We pride ourselves on creating and fostering a safe, inclusive, and diverse community for all of our employees, with zero tolerance of discrimination in any form.”

Reid noted that the men previously tried unsuccessfully to attach their claims to the earlier suits by women.

“PIMCO operates as a fraternity in a perversely literal sense,” the men said in their suit. “Senior male Caucasian managerial-level employees mentor young Caucasian male professionals, give them preferential assignments, introduce them to the investment firm’s powerbrokers, and groom them for membership in the investment firm’s leadership, even when their professional skills and qualifications are notably deficient.”

Dowtin was a vice president in Pimco’s Variable Annuities Wholesaler team, while Kim worked as a contractor on the data engineering team, according to the complaint.

“Now we have two minority men stepping forward but the pattern of how they were treated is similar to that faced by the six others,” said Nancy Abrolat, an attorney representing the workers in all three cases.

Kim claimed in the suit he was harassed by a fellow Asian supervisor. Dowtin said he faced retaliation after complaining about being passed up for promotions and that African-American employees constitute less than 1% of the company’s workforce.

Reid said Black or African-American employees make up 3.4% of Pimco’s workforce.

The case is Dowtin v. Pacific Inv. Mgmt. Co., 30-2022-01259571, California Superior Court, Orange County.

[Editor’s note: PIMCO is a subsidiary of Allianz]

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Topics Lawsuits Leadership

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.