Don Manifold – Sexual Harassment, Investigation and More
Don Manifold is the Joint Managing Director of Equity & Advisory. He specializes in providing commercial advice on valuations, mergers and acquisitions and divestments.
However, before joining Equity & Advisory, Don used to be the Managing Partner of EY in South Australian and Northern Territory. He left the company after an investigation found that he breached some aspects of the firm’s code of conduct.
Furthermore, Don Manifold had received allegations of sexual harasement. However, they were not substantiated in the investigation.
Initially, The Australian Financial Reviewre had revealed that the firm had suspended Don Manifold and a female staff member over sexual harassment and other allegations. Then, news broke out that Adrian Lazilli of KPMG left the frim when the allegations of sexual harassment were made.
Adrian didn’t wait for the investigation to complete.
Later, the Chief Executives of both companies came out and reminded their partners and staff to behave properly at work.
Then, EY chief Tony Johnson sent out an email to staff where he shared the findings of the investigation. Although teh investigation didn’t substantiate the sexual harassment allegations made against Don Manifold, it found several breaches of the firm’s code of conduct.
Tony had requested people who had been a witness or victim of bullying or harassment to come forward. The firm hasn’t yet resolved the status of the junior female staffer.
The Results of the Investigation against Don Manifold:
The investigation lasted for 6 weeks. Tony Johnson said that the allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and victimization against Don Manifold were not substantiated.
However, they found multiple breaches of the firm’s code of conduct and internal policies. Johnson said the firm takes these breaches seriously.
He noted that Don Manifold cooperated with the investigation, accepted the findings and resolved the matter quickly as it impacted his family. Then, he offered his resignation from the partnership which the firm had accepted.
Tony Johnson highlighted that the findings of the investigation related to the staff member will stay confidential.
Our sympathy is with the female junior staff member. Also, it’s worth noting that Don Manifold was quite a prominent person at the firm. The company wouldn’t want to expose any of his shady activities as well because it would make the entire upper management look bad.
It’s obvious there’s something fishy and E&Y didn’t reveal everything. Don Manifold faced negligible consequences of his terrible actions as he has now become Joint Managing Director of Equity & Advisory.
What are your thoughts on Don Manifold and his actions?
Don Manifold had received allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct. However, his firm didn’t fire him for those reasons. Instead, they said he had “violated their code of conduct” so he resigned. Not only is this wrong but also a proof of injustice. The company had suspended the victim along with Don.
- Alleged sexual harassment
- Alleged misconduct
- Faced virtually no consequences