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Moelis puts banker on leave after video of him punching a woman goes viral

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The investment bank Moelis has placed one of its managing directors, Jonathan Kaye, on leave, Bloomberg reported Monday, after social media users identified the banker as the assailant in a video that shows a man knocking a woman to the ground with a punch.

The roughly 10-second video does not show what happened before the punch, reportedly thrown Saturday in Brooklyn amid a Pride celebration.

In the video, the man, identified on X as Kaye — an M&A banker who leads Moelis’s business services franchise — walks away from the incident as onlookers call him “an a–hole” and “a horrible person” and tell him to “go f— [him]self.”

The man responds by telling onlookers, “She f—ing threw s— all over me” before briefly turning to the camera and walking away carrying a plastic bag in one hand. A wet substance can be seen across the back of his blazer. In the early moments of the video, two people can be seen helping a second person, also on the ground in the street.

We have become aware that one of our employees was involved in a serious incident in Brooklyn on June 8,” Moelis told Bloomberg on Sunday. “We take this matter very seriously and are conducting an investigation.”

A Moelis spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Mail that Kaye is the man seen in the video.

Kaye declined to comment to Bloomberg and the New York Post.

Kaye would not be the first managing director at a Wall Street bank this year to be connected with a highly publicized behavioral issue.

Edward Ruff, a managing director whom Citi placed on leave in January while it investigated allegations that he intimidated one co-worker and shouted insults at members of his team because they were late to a call, reportedly left the bank this spring.

Kaye joined Moelis in 2013 from Citi, where he served with the bank’s global mergers and acquisitions group. A link to his LinkedIn profile indicates the page is not publicly available.

Kaye did, however, speak last year on a podcast, where he said he does “a fair amount of mentorship” with junior staff.

He told the hosts he tells mentees to “pay attention and focus on the people you admire because they’re likely succeeding for a reason.”

“You should learn the hard skills as fast as you can, but in the end, it’s really the skills of grit and resilience, learning how to listen, understanding what is motivating other people, and empathy — those are the indispensable skills that separate you from a calculator,” he told the “LSE Focal Point Podcast” in May 2023.

He also detailed his own difficulties breaking into banking without a background in finance.

“I learned I was not as special as my mother told me I was,” he said on the podcast. “I learned that Wall Street could be a merciless place and that the rewards — and I don’t mean compensation, I really mean opportunities, mentorship attention, the opportunity to work on the best situations, those things — followed those who did good work and did good work consistently.”

Kaye said he also “learned some of the basic concepts that probably seem obvious, but when you’re in your 20s, you kind of have to learn them all from scratch.”

“Those are things like doing what you say you’re going to do, being consistent, carefully managing your reputation, carefully managing difficult people and staying away from toxic people,” he said. “This was also a time in finance where there … were just less rules and people were kind of rougher than I think the environment is today.”

The New York Police Department is looking into the case, a spokesperson told Bloomberg, adding that further questions would be answered by email. An email seeking more details was not immediately returned to the wire service.

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