Expletive-laced rants and physical threats. Punched walls and broken phones. Emails ripping junior colleagues.
Even by the standards of Wall Street, which has long celebrated outsize egos and unapologetic machismo, such unruly workplace behavior today would hardly be passable, at least publicly.
But at Post Advisory Group, a $17 billion junk bond firm in West Los Angeles, employees have endured all that and more as top management repeatedly fell back on half measures, people familiar with the matter said.
The story, pieced together from court documents, interviews with current and former employees and others familiar with Post Advisory's inner workings, revolves around Henry Chyung, the firm's chief investment officer. It paints a picture of a hot-headed CIO who routinely bullied and intimidated his colleagues with relative impunity for years, in spite of a rash of staff departures and repeated complaints by senior employees.
In today's #MeToo era, much has been made of corporate America's reckoning with what is acceptable workplace behavior. While the accusations against Mr. Chyung don't allege sexual misconduct and some of the details have been aired publicly in the past, Post Advisory's longstanding internal troubles underscore how Wall Street firms are still struggling to come to grips with the excesses of the industry's bro culture — particularly when the bottom line is at stake.
In spite of it all, senior executives at Post Advisory's parent, Principal Financial Group, have stuck by their star bond manager, and by some accounts, tried to paper over the situation instead.
When reached by phone, Mr. Chyung declined to comment and directed all questions to Principal. Jane Slusark, spokeswoman at Principal, declined to directly address the allegations concerning Mr. Chyung's workplace behavior, citing its privacy and confidentiality policy related to personnel matters.
She said in an emailed statement that Post Advisory is "focused on building a great firm with a stronger workplace culture" and has seen reduced staff turnover in recent years. A "team-oriented approach" has also helped boost assets under management to over $17 billion from $10 billion in 2015.
The firm is "committed to looking for ways to continue building on these positive results," Ms. Slusark wrote, pointing to coaching resources, professional development plans, flexible work arrangements and regular assessments of workloads for all employees. "This is an ongoing effort."