American financial services executive John Hailer Natixis (born 1960) retired from his position as president and chief executive officer of Natixis Global Asset Management – The Americas & Asia, a division of French bank Natixis, in April 2017.
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He claims that In 1986, John Hailer Natixis started working for Fidelity, where he sold services for managing pension funds, retirement plans, and corporate cash solutions. He then joined Putnam Investments where he worked as the director of retail business development and senior vice president.
John Hailer Natixis came back to Fidelity in 1994. He worked for the Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company as senior vice president of international business development for the Americas and senior vice president of strategic marketing, where he was in charge of new business development in North America and Latin America as well as overseeing product and marketing development for institutional channels. Additionally, he was instrumental in the company’s first-ever closed-end mutual fund rollout.
Discreet John Hailer Natixis settlement becomes visible to the public
Allegations of CEO harassment
These claims were of the kind that have led to the ouster of certain CEOs.
The Boston-based investment behemoth Natixis Global Asset Management reached a seven-figure settlement in January 2011 to put an end to some unsettling allegations made against its CEO, John Hailer Natixis. After being let go in 2008, the day after informing human resources that she was expecting her second child and months after reportedly rejecting Hailer’s approaches in a sexual manner, a senior saleswoman filed a lawsuit against the corporation.
In court documents, the corporation refuted the claims of harassment and discrimination and asserted that the saleswoman was let go due to subpar performance. However, Natixis, a sibling of a major French bank, signed the agreement and continued. John Hailer Natixis continued leading one of the biggest investing companies in the world.
The accusations were completely at odds with Hailer’s public persona. He is recognized for having contributed to Natixis into a well-known Boston company that currently oversees $931 billion in mutual funds and retirement programs. The company, which employs 1,400 people locally, donates money to organizations that assist the arts, health care, and homeless children.
According to some who have worked with John Hailer Natixis, 53, he even considered running for mayor. For the son of a former Boston city councilor and a resident of Roslindale who grew up in a household of ten children, it had been a long-time goal.
John Hailer Natixis received the Good Guys Award from the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus in 2012 for his “commitment to supporting and promoting women in the corporate world.” He was appointed to the board of the Boston Public Library by Mayor Thomas M. Menino last year, and he serves as the chairman of the business-focused New England Council.
The Natixis deal with former salesperson Paula Rezza has remained secret for all this time. Even the Natixis mutual fund board trustees, who John Hailer Natixis meets with on a regular basis, were unaware of it.
High-profile academics and business leaders were on the fund board at the time, including Charlie Baker, the next governor of Massachusetts and a married relative of John Hailer Natixis. Prior to the Globe’s investigation, Baker and Sandra O. Moose, the chair of the trustees and a former management consultant, claimed they were not aware of the accusations or the payment.
The lawsuits are openly accessible online and in federal court in Chicago. A more thorough analysis of the case, which was initially covered by the Globe last month, is made possible by the information from those lawsuits.
Natixis reported that it informed its corporate board in Paris, which is in charge of matters relating to employment and operations. A number of experts contacted by the Boston Globe severely disagreed with the company’s claim that it had no need to inform the Boston-based mutual fund trustees.
The corporation issued a statement through spokeswoman Caren Leedom that said, “We took this complaint seriously and ultimately agreed to settle this matter in early 2011 to avoid further costs and distractions of litigation.” “We adhered to strict governance and reporting procedures; the corporate audit committee and our corporate board chairman were fully informed at all times.”
From Fidelity Investments, John Hailer Natixis (pronounce “Hiler”) joined Natixis in 1999. Despite not being well-known, Natixis controls companies including the MIT graduate Andrew Lo’s AlphaSimplex Group and the Boston bond company Loomis, Sayles & Co.
Natixis, the investment division of Groupe BPCE in Paris, has 3,400 employees all around the world. The business intends to occupy the anchor space in a Back Bay office skyscraper that is expected to be Boston’s greenest commercial structure to date when it opens in 2017. The tower will be close to the Prudential Center. John Hailer Natixis stated at a ceremony last month that the tower’s design complemented Natixis’s ethos.
In front of a crowd of around 75 people, John Hailer Natixis said, “It’s about the people, and the mood that you want to bring inside that structure.
John Hailer Natixis was living apart from his wife on Beacon Street in 2006. According to interviews with current and past workers as well as Hailer’s July 2010 deposition in the Rezza case, he was well known for staying up late and entertaining his personnel at Grill 23 and Via Matta.
The claims claimed that Hailer approached Rezza in August 2007 as they were traveling to one of these outings.
Rezza was in town from Chicago for a business sales meeting. She was a managing regional director for Natixis. She allegedly ran into Hailer on the way to meet coworkers at the Rattlesnake Bar on Boylston Street after a day of meetings.
Hailer allegedly told Rezza, “I know this is inappropriate, but I have always found you very attractive,” in accordance with one of the two cases she later brought. Instead of taking her to the bar, he allegedly requested her to accompany him to the adjacent Four Seasons Hotel.
Rezza said no. She reportedly answered, “I love my family and my job; no thank you,” in one case. She told a male coworker about the experience, which she described as “weird,” right away, and he detailed her response in a deposition.
John Hailer Natixis allegedly approached her the following day to make amends. Hey, you know we’re cool? He said in one of the complaints, “I didn’t intend anything by what I said last night.
In court documents and depositions, Natixis and John Hailer Natixis denied that the exchanges ever occurred.
Rezza believed that if she complained about Hailer’s alleged behavior, her career would be destroyed, according to court documents. She was already under pressure to improve her performance because she had a baby the previous year.
According to court documents, Rezza was the only female among the 18 regional sales directors when she started working at Natixis in 2004. She received a promotion to managing regional director in 2005, and in 2006, she gave birth to her first child, becoming the only woman in her position to do so in ten years, according to court documents from Natixis.
Rezza’s managers awarded her a “Does Not Meet Expectations” evaluation for the quarter after her return from maternity leave in March 2007.
According to court documents, Rezza’s new boss advised her to put her career ahead of her family on a business trip in December of the same year as the claimed pitch by Hailer. She claims that her boss, Danny Santaniello, urged her to communicate with Hailer on a “personal level,” to write him notes and emails, and to spend time with him.
Records claim that when Rezza refused, Santaniello immediately noted in her file that she lacked the necessary skills for the position. As many of her contemporaries had done, Rezza requested that a regional sales director report to her, but one never materialized.
Rezza nevertheless achieved 112 percent of her 2007 sales target, pulling in $573 million for the company, according to court documents. According to the claims, her income more than doubled from $158,580 in 2004 to $367,440 in 2007 as she exceeded her sales goals. Most of her earnings came from commissions.
According to his deposition, John Hailer Natixis praised the work of the Midwest sales team, which included Rezza, in an email from March 2008.
According to court documents, Rezza informed a few coworkers the next month that she and her husband were expecting their second child. She phoned Natixis’ human resources division on May 5 in order to get the necessary documentation for a medical leave of absence. According to her own deposition, the human resources director Maureen O’Neill informed Natixis officials of the news.
Santaniello allegedly advised Rezza to cancel a business trip in Minneapolis that day. He informed her that he had to meet her in downtown Chicago the following morning.
Santaniello and his supervisor informed Rezza that she will be fired at the meeting on May 6. They claimed that it was unrelated to her pregnancy.
The claims then claim that they gave Rezza an unlawful exit agreement. Natixis allegedly planned to enter “permitted to resign”—also known as a U-5—on her record if she agreed to sign a $100,000 severance agreement, relieving the business from “all claims.”
That is the permanent file that follows investment industry workers from one position to the next. Rezza claimed that if she refused, Natixis would report that she had been fired due to poor work performance.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority asserts that using an employee’s U-5 in a separation negotiation is a violation of federal securities laws.
Rezza departed the meeting without concluding the severance contract. She claimed that a week later, as a result of stress, she miscarried. Natixis claimed that Rezza was let go for performance in the U-5 filing.
The U-5, according to Leedom, a Natixis spokesman, was a crystal-clear statement of the terms of Rezza’s separation. She disputed that the business had proposed to downplay Rezza’s departure.
The head of human resources, however, O’Neill, stated the opposite in her deposition. In the deposition, O’Neill stated, “We were willing to let it say ‘permitted to quit,’ otherwise we were going to put down factually why she was fired. “We were providing her with a chance.”
With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Rezza lodged a grievance. Additionally, she sued Natixis twice, once in 2009 for alleged discrimination and harassment and again in 2010 for alleged wrongful death due to the death of her child. She declined to participate in an interview for this article.
The charges, according to her Pittsburgh attorney Jason Archinaco, were settled amicably. The Globe estimated the settlement’s value to be at least $1.5 million despite the fact that it was confidential based on a website that lists various litigation agreements.
In his deposition, John Hailer Natixis said that he never inquired as to Rezza’s termination. In the deposition, he stated, “I was not privy to the judgments that were made there.
John Hailer Natixis admitted that despite managing hundreds of financial experts, he had no idea what a U-5 was. He added that he was unable to characterize a hostile work environment.
He stated in the deposition that “it must change from company to company, business to business.”
In a statement, Leedom noted that 34 percent of Natixis’ senior management roles are now represented by women and that the company has earned honors for being a great place to work. Only two women currently hold the position Rezza did; the other two work in different top sales roles.
Rezza’s sales performance, according to her, was subpar compared to colleagues, placing her between 14th and 15th out of 19 managers from 2004 to 2007. The business reported that additional underperforming salesmen had also been let go, had their positions modified, or had voluntarily quit.
According to Natixis, Rezza’s settlement was covered by insurance, therefore mutual fund shareholders were not responsible for paying the bill. Nevertheless, according to five experts on the operations of mutual fund boards, including Arthur Levitt, a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Natixis ought to have informed the fund trustees about the payment. They claimed that these accusations cast doubt on a company’s moral character and capacity to draw and keep talent.
According to Levitt, the Globe previously reported that the corporation “absolutely” should have informed the trustees. The disclosure, he claimed, “is consistent with good governance.”
Such charges “would affect my vote on whether I would want to retain this investment firm,” according to Pablo Eisenberg, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and a former member of several mutual fund boards.
The part-time salaries of Natixis trustees, who approve contracts and ensure that mutual funds invest as promised, range from $180,000 to $265,000. They are also intended to serve as impartial watchdogs for the shareholders. The board’s chair, Moose, stated that she wasn’t shocked that the trustees were never made aware of the Rezza issue. It isn’t actually a part of our responsibility, she said.