Tudor's Jones Clarifies Controversial Comments On Women

May 24 2013 | 12:38pm ET

Tudor Investment Corp. founder Paul Tudor Jones sought to contain the furor sparked by his statements about female traders.

Jones said that his comments at a University of Virginia panel last month—which were videotaped and then posted yesterday on the Washington Post's Web site—were "off the cuff," and that he believes "that great success is possible in any field—from music to mathematics to macro trading—as long as a woman or man has the skill, passion and repetitions to work through the inevitable life events that arise along the way."

At the U. Va. roundtable in April, Jones said, "You will never see as many great women investors or traders as men. Period. End of story. And the reason why is not because they're not capable. They're very capable. Like, one of my No. 1 rules as an investor is, as soon as my manager, if I find out that manager is going through a divorce, redeem immediately. Because the emotional distraction that comes from divorce is so overwhelming. The idea that you could think straight for 60 seconds and be able to make a rational decision is impossible, particularly when their kids are involved."

"Take a girl that was my age at that point in time, particularly back in the '70s," the father of four continued. "I can think of two that actually started at E.F. Hutton with me. Within four years, by 1980, right when I was getting ready to launch my company, they both got married. Then they both had, which in my mind is as big of a killer as divorce is, they both had children. And as soon as that baby's lips touched that girl's bosom, forget it. Every single investment idea, every desire to understand what's 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."

Yesterday, Jones sought to clarify his statements—without entirely retracting them.

"As I've told my three daughters, all of whom I've at one time encouraged to go into macro trading, any man or woman can do anything to which they set their heart and mind," he said. "My off-the-cuff remarks at the University of Virginia were with regard to global macro traders, who are on-call 24/7 and of whom there are likely only a few thousand successful practitioners in the world today. Macro trading requires a high degree of skill, focus and repetition. Life events, such as birth, divorce, death of a loved one and other emotional highs and lows are obstacles to success in this specific field of finance."

One of Jones' former protégés, Queen Anne's Gate Capital Management co-founder Kathleen Kelley, offered support for the man who she described as a "fantastic mentor" during her 11 years at Tudor, during which time she raised two children.

"I agree with his comments on the amount of focus it takes to be successful in this field, and without good help and support it would be impossible to do my job," she told Bloomberg News.

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