Swede wins $18m in Wall Street harassment case

Swede wins $18m in Wall Street harassment case
A Swedish woman sued her Wall Street boss. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
A New York court has ordered a Wall Street mogul to pay $18 million (nearly 150 million kronor) to a Swedish woman who sued her boss for sexual harassment.

The court heard that Benjamin Wey, 43, head of a powerful firm in New York's finance district, used his position of power to coerce Hanna Bouveng, 25, into a series of sexual encounters.

He was said to have fired the Swede six months later when she refused further contact and told him she had a boyfriend.

The financier then began an online campaign, describing her on his blog as a “loose woman” and a “street walker” before following her when she returned to Sweden.

Her attorney, David Ratner, described to the jury how she was sitting in a cafe in Stockholm when Wey suddenly walked in.

“The message was: 'Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I am going to find you and I am going to get you,” he said.

“She used to be sociable. Now she is afraid to tell people her last name,” he added.

The pair first met in the Hamptons – a popular seaside resort on the US east coast – in 2013 after which Wey hired her to help negotiate a deal to buy a small Swedish insurance company.

Raised in a small town in southern Sweden, Ratner told the court his client was worried about keeping her work visa when her boss made his first moves.

Bouveng, who originally sued the financier for $850 million, was awarded $16 million in punitive damages on sexual harassment, defamation and retaliation charges, as well as $2 million in compensatory damages. The federal court on Manhattan rejected claims of assault and battery.

Wey, who is chief executive of US and Asia-based venture capital and private equity investment firm New York Global Group, denied having sex with the 25-year-old.