Platts: The Barrel
Suit against BP helps answer a question: what do traders make?
There are plenty of fascinating tales in a recent lawsuit filed against BP by a former trader, Alison Myers. But it's the dollar signs that have everyone talking.
Myers filed the suit in late June against BP. The suit was filed against BP America, which is located in Naperville, Ill., so it is filed in the US District Court for the northern district of Illinois.
The primary charge in the suit is one of sexual discrimination. According to the suit, Myers joined BP in the UK in the mid 1990's, and moved to the Illinois office in September 2000, where she traded West African crude. In trader parlance, she worked for the WAF "book."
In 2003, the book leader for WAF moved to the Cushing book,WTI at Cushing, which the suit describes as the most profitable book within BP. Myers became co-book leader for the WAF book, and then head book leader in 2005. The suit says she made all her targets.
The male Cushing book leader, who had moved up from the WAF book, left the company sometime during this period; the suit is vague as to the specific date of this departure. Myers wanted the job; she didn't get it. Instead, a more junior male colleague received the choice position.
This is the primary basis for the suit. She also is alleging that her 2006 targets for the WAF book were changed retroactively in 2007, something that was not done for her male colleagues. She was placed on "garden leave" in July 2007,which is a nice way of being told to go home, continue to collect your pay checks and we'll figure out later what to do with you.
What has the trading community buzzing are the disclosures in there about Myers' pay. Here are some of the relevant numbers.
--Her base salary in 2007 was $163,500. It was $150,00 the year before.
--For her performance in 2006, she earned a bonus in excess of $5.5 million, payable in March 2007. (Some of that was to be retained by BP for later payment, and the resolution of that is one of the points in the lawsuit).
--The retroactive changes in 2006 targets, according to the lawsuit, cost Myers about $775,000.
--Based on her estimates, Myers would have been on target for a $5.5 million bonus in 2007.
Myers is seeking actual and compensatory damages, which are unspecified, and punitive damages of $250 million.
If this suit goes to trial, it ought to be quite a show.
Posted by John Kingston on July 04, 2008 | Permalink
Looks like BP's reputation for shit pay is pretty undeserved. Anyone know if it's too late to join their IST program?