Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones is back-peddling from remarks he made last month at a symposium that motherhood causes women to lose the necessary focus to be successful traders.
“As soon as that baby’s lips touched that girl’s bosom, forget it,” Jones told an audience at the University of Virginia on April 26.
“Every single investment idea … every desire to understand what is going to make this go up or go down is going to be overwhelmed by the most beautiful experience … which a man will never share, about a mode of connection between that mother and that baby,” he said. “And I’ve just seen it happen over and over.”
But in a statement released Friday, Jones apologized for what he has called “off the cuff” remarks:
“Much of my adult life has been spent fighting for equal opportunity, and the idea that I would support limiting opportunity for any segment of society, particularly women, is antithetical to who I am and what I have done,” he said. “My remarks offended, and I am sorry.”
The offending comments were made as Jones, the founder of Tudor Investment Corp., a $13 billion hedge-fund firm based in Greenwich, Conn., participated in a question-and-answer symposium at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. Prominent investors Julian Robertson of Tiger Management and John Griffin of Blue Ridge Capital were also part of the panel.
The video was obtained by The Washington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request. You can skip to Jones’ controversial remarks in the video below beginning at about 2:30.
Not surprisingly, the comments haven’t gone over well with some women. Writing for Time magazine, columnist Rana Foroohar shot back at what she called Jones’ “convoluted argument”:
“He’s saying that women can’t be good traders because they are too much at the mercy of their emotions. Actually, plenty of research has shown just the opposite. In the bestselling book, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, John Coates, a former trader who is now a neuroscientist at Cambridge University, looks at just how emotionally influenced traders — mainly men — are.”