“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,” Jones said, according to a video of his remarks The Washington Post obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. “And I’ve just seen it happen over and over.”
Jones’s comments came during the question-and-answer session of an April 26 symposium at the university’s McIntire School of Commerce. The panel included prominent investors Julian Robertson, John Griffin and Jones, 58, a 1976 U-Va. graduate who has donated more than $100 million to the university.
Jones said in a statement to The Post on Thursday that his “off the cuff remarks” were made “with regard to global macro traders,” who work in a small, intense field in which “emotional highs and lows are obstacles to success.” Jones has four children with his wife, Sonia Jones.
“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,” Jones said in the statement. “I believe that great success is possible in any field — from music to mathematics to macro trading.”
To encourage an “open and candid discussion,” McIntire Dean Carl P. Zeithaml had asked the audience not to record the event or to quote the panelists afterward.
“No quotes with attribution should leave the room,” Zeithaml said. “We must prohibit any discussion or description of the event in print or video, through electronic media or through Internet-based technologies including Web sites, blogs or social media, such as Twitter or Facebook.”
The commerce school recorded the event, and U-Va. made a password-protected link to the video available to The Post this week. Zeithaml was out of the country Thursday and could not immediately be reached for comment.
Jones made his remarks about mothers toward the end of the symposium, when a person in the audience submitted a question — labeled “elephant in the room” — that asked the investors what it would take to get more diversity on such panels.
“You will never see as many great women investors or traders as men — period, end of story,” Jones said. “And the reason why is not because they are not capable. They are very capable.”