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Citigroup MD says relationship with colleague left her with PTSD

Mani Singh left Citi last year

If ever there was a warning not to get into a relationship with a powerful managing director (MD) in a bank, Ardith Lindsey's claim against Citigroup is it.

After a relationship with a senior banker that lasted "years", Lindsey - who was previously Citi's head of electronic and execution advisory services in New York, says she's been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and major neurocognitive disorder. She's filed a suit against Citigroup, for gender discrimination and a hostile work environment, and says she's unable to work.

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Lindsey joined Citi's North American equities business in August 2007 and worked in electronic sales trading.

Soon after she arrived, Lindsey claims that Mani Singh, a more senior employee who was ultimately promoted to global head of platform sales, befriended her and declared, “I had my eye on you from the moment I first met you and knew I had to have you.” He began "love bombing her" and they started a relationship.

Singh, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, left Citi in December 2022. He has not commented for this article and has therefore neither refuted nor validated Lindsey's claims.  His relationship with Lindsey ended in October 2022, after she says extricated herself from his alleged coercion. Singh is then accused of sending Lindsey a barrage of threatening and obscene texts, in which he - among other things - threatened to harm her children and to 'take her down hard' in terms of compensation and use his "power" to destroy her career and reputation.

Singh left Citi soon after, and his current whereabouts are unclear. Lindsey claims that Citi turned a blind eye to his erratic behavior for years, and says he was allowed to resign with his reputation intact. When Singh left she claims that, Tim Gately, Citi's US head of equities, made a valedictory comment to 150 equities employees saying: "We’re all very sorry to see him go and certainly grateful to the contributions he has made over the years. But it was his decision, and we wish him well.”

Lindsey's claim, which also includes an allegation of assault after a London Christmas party in 2007 and cites pervasive sexism on the equities trading floor, is denied by Citi. 

A spokesperson for the bank said it will defend itself against the claim in court. "Setting aside what we think are the merits of any individual claim, however, our values and expectations are clear -- no one should ever be discriminated against or harassed in the workplace. Our colleagues should feel confident they can raise concerns about themselves or others without fear of retribution, and decisive action must be taken when unacceptable behavior takes place. We regularly review and update our policies and look for innovative ways to ensure they are understood and followed by all colleagues,” they said.

The Citi spokesman added that the bank considered Singh's conduct as detailed in the report "deplorable" but said Lindsey had provided conflicting accounts of their relationship. "When questioned several years ago about a large financial transaction between them, Ms. Lindsey described Mr. Singh as only a friend and, last year, when she reported the vile text messages to us, she described the relationship as having been consensual. We immediately placed Mr. Singh on leave and began an investigation. Mr. Singh resigned within days, before the investigation could be completed.”

Singh, who is also known as Manvinder Bhathal, began his career at JPMorgan in London and is a graduate of the London School of Economics. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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