Former Investec analyst settles sex bias claim

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The Independent Online

Former City media analyst Louise Barton yesterday received compensation from her ex-employer, Investec, after claiming the investment bank pursued a policy of sex discrimination against her and did not pay her as much as male colleagues.

The two sides reached a private settlement ahead of a public showdown at an employment tribunal. Keeping the level of compensation private was a condition of the deal.

Ms Barton took action against Investec after discovering her colleague, former journalist Mathew Horsman, had been paid twice as much as her. Ms Barton claimed she was paid £1m less than Mr Horsman over a four-year period and was not awarded bonuses in line with another colleague, Mike Savage. The opposing sides had already clashed at two employment tribunals - one in September ruled in favour of Investec but Ms Barton won the appeal in April. The analyst and her former employer were set for another hearing before they reached their settlement.

The Equal Opportunities Commission, which supported Ms Barton's appeal, said: "City firms do have to make sure that their pay and bonus systems are transparent if they want to tackle discrimination and level the playing field for women."

The initial ruling in September said that confidentiality about the way bonuses were calculated were a "vital component of City bonus culture". In April the Employment Appeal Tribunal said: "No tribunal should be seen to condone a City bonus culture involving... a lack of transparency."

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