To those involved with the investment industry, popular hedge fund DE Shaw doesn’t need a formal PowerPoint presentation to be told what it is all about. Operating on a tech-based investment mechanism, DE Shaw uses intelligent algorithms to manipulate market movements and generate profits off of its hedge fund participants.

But given the company’s penchant for opacity, it was no surprise when it suddenly ousted Dan Michalow. See, Dan Michalow is one of its most successful partners. He was kicked out in March 2018. DE Shaw and didn’t give a reason behind its actions until it was reached by an outside news source to confirm the incident.

But even more so than firing Michalow, it’s the company’s actions now that are raising more questions about its culture of keeping its employees in the dark. Very recently, it asked its execs to sign noncompete agreements by September 16, 2019, to ensure that they don’t join a rival firm right after departing DE Shaw. Those who chose not to sign the non-compete were to face the consequences in terms of termination.

What made this interesting was DE Shaw’s insistence about this being only standard practice, while the date coincided with Michalow’s ability to start hiring people for his hedge fund (if any). According to Michalow’s contract, he had to wait only until about mid-September, before he could go ahead with such an action. Given that the employees at DE Shaw were given an ultimatum to sign a noncompete by that date sounds very curious to say the least.

But keeping in line with its company culture, DE Shaw refuses to budge and maintains that the noncompete was standard practice. With the dates now behind us, it is only a matter of a few weeks before it is revealed which employees took the noncompete and which ones took the termination with deferred compensation that the hedge fund offered to them.