Moelis places banker on leave as it investigates New York scuffle

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Investment bank Moelis has placed one of its top employees on leave as it investigates a video on social media that appeared to show him punching a person during a New York City Pride event.

The short clip posted on social media platform X shows a man hitting a person in the face at a street corner and then walking away.

The post identified the man as Jonathan Kaye, a managing director at the Wall Street bank and said the incident occurred at a Brooklyn Pride event over the weekend.

“We are aware that one of our employees was involved in a serious incident in Brooklyn on June 8. We take this matter very seriously, and this employee is on leave as we continue to conduct our investigation,” a spokesperson for Moelis said in a statement.

The spokesperson confirmed that the person in the video was Kaye. The video is only 10 seconds, and does not include any build-up to the incident. However, the back of Kaye’s jacket appears visibly wet in the footage, suggesting that some back-and-forth may have occurred immediately before filming began.

One person briefed on the matter said the altercation took place after four individuals with a Palestinian flag threw liquids on Kaye in response to Kaye, who is Jewish, telling them that they were “on the wrong side”. In the scuffle, Kaye fell to the ground and injured his knee, this person said.

The New York Police Department said it was looking into the incident, but added that it had not received an official complaint as of Monday morning.

“The NYPD is aware of the video. We encourage anyone who has been a victim to file a police report. There are currently no complaint reports on file,” a spokesperson for the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information said in an email.

According to the bank’s website, Kaye heads the global business services franchise at Moelis and has worked in the investment banking industry for two decades. Under Kaye, the site says, the franchise “has become a recognised global leader having advised on over 100 transactions across the sector”.

Led by founder Ken Moelis, the investment bank is one of the boutiques that has won market share from larger rivals in recent years. It is listed in New York and has a market capitalisation of $4bn.

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