By Bhargav Acharya and Kanishka Singh
(Reuters) – Bridgewater Associates former co-Chief Executive Officer Eileen Murray filed a lawsuit against the hedge fund on Friday, saying it is withholding up to $100 million in deferred compensation because she publicly disclosed her gender discrimination dispute with the firm.
Murray, who stepped down as co-CEO earlier this year, said in the suit that the circumstances surrounding her departure had given rise to substantial claims by her against Bridgewater based on gender discrimination, unequal pay and breach of contract.
Murray had informed the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a self-regulatory agency that she now chairs, of the dispute with Bridgewater, which is the world’s largest hedge fund. In response, Bridgewater told Murray on July 14 in writing that her public disclosures of her dispute with the firm would result in a forfeiture of her deferred compensation, according to the complaint.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Connecticut, the withheld compensation is estimated to be in the range of $20 million to $100 million, due over the course of the next decade.
In the suit, Murray, who was one of the highest-ranking female executives in the industry as co-CEO of the hedge fund, called Bridgewater’s attempt to withhold the deferred pay an “improper gambit to silence her voice” and “part of a cynical plan to intimidate and silence her.”
The hedge fund said it had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.
Murray, 62, joined the hedge fund, founded by billionaire Ray Dalio, in 2009 and became co-CEO in 2011.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)