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First Eagle, Blackstone sued by ex-analyst for sex, race bias

Former research analyst Oanh Nyugen filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court in New York against First Eagle and Blackstone, which owns a stake in the asset management firm.
Former research analyst Oanh Nyugen filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court in New York against First Eagle and Blackstone, which owns a stake in the asset management firm.
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First Eagle Investment Management was sued by a former research analyst who alleges she was fired after complaining about gender and race discrimination.

Oanh Nyugen filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court in New York against First Eagle and Blackstone, which owns a stake in the asset management firm. Nguyen, who was terminated from First Eagle in October after 13 years there, alleges the firm’s culture is one in which the careers of women are destined to stall and the ranks of portfolio managers are reserved exclusively for white men.

According to its website, First Eagle has around $101 billion in assets under management.

In a statement, First Eagle denied Nguyen’s claims and said it was committed to maintaining a positive work environment that promotes equality, diversity and respect. “The facts clearly demonstrate that Ms. Nguyen was terminated from her position for performance-related reasons,” the company said. “First Eagle will vigorously contest these claims.”

Blackstone joined with Corsair Capital, which was not named in the suit, to acquire a majority interest in First Eagle in 2015. “We are deeply committed to gender equality in the workplace,” Blackstone said in a statement. “However, naming Blackstone in a local employment matter in which we were not involved is a clear attempt to generate misleading headlines.”

In her lawsuit, Nguyen said she was responsible for providing research for First Eagle’s investments in telecommunications and media companies ranging from $5 billion to $7 billion in size.

“Ms. Nguyen was, like many other women and minorities working in the financial services industry, victimized by a male-centric environment in which she was underpaid and treated as an outsider for advocating for equal treatment while numerous men around her have thrived and were permitted to act in a completely unacceptable and unlawful manner,” her complaint states.

The case is Nguyen v. First Eagle Investment Management LLC, 20-cv-05810, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Bloomberg News