Rich Handler said he won't tolerate Jefferies Financial Group Inc. bankers shutting out their female colleagues for fear over the #MeToo movement.
"There is no excuse to exclude anyone from business meals, top-level meetings, presentations, mentoring, travel or social situations based on gender or any other designation," Mr. Handler, Jefferies' chief executive officer, and Chairman Brian Friedman wrote in a memo to staff Thursday.
The executives referenced a Bloomberg News story from earlier this month that reported many in their industry were avoiding being alone with female colleagues. That response is "thoughtless, paranoid and fundamentally wrong," they wrote.
"If you don't know how to conduct yourself as a responsible, courteous and balanced human being, the fault lies exclusively with you and not with an allegedly flawed system designed to ensnare the innocent," they said in the memo.