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100 Hours a Week: The Job That Killed a Bank of America Employee

Daniel Kim Views  

Criticism is mounting over the industry culture of enforcing excessive work hours, following the death of a 30-something banker who was working over 100 hours per week in the U.S.

According to Reuters on the 15th (local time), it was revealed that Leo Lukenas III, an employee of the investment banking team at Bank of America (BoA), was preparing to change jobs due to overwork before he died of acute coronary artery thrombus earlier this month.

Lukenas, who joined in July 2013, was reportedly working over 100 hours per week for several consecutive weeks on a merger deal worth $2 billion. He lived with his wife and two children, had served in the U.S. Army, and was known to have no special health problems.

He was recently reportedly preparing to move to a boutique investment bank in New York, complaining of an overwhelming workload.

Douglas Walter of the headhunting firm Grayfox said, “Lukenas had been looking to leave BoA since mid-March due to excessive workload.”

He was looking for a place where he could maintain a balance between work and life, even if the pay was less. Walter said, “He complained about not having enough time with his family and even offered to trade 10% of his salary for more sleep.” He added, “He even asked if it was normal to work 110 hours a week.”

Lukenas was hired as a full-time employee at BoA in July of last year and was in charge of a merger worth $2 billion that was completed earlier this month.

Following the news of Lucenas’s death, there was a fierce backlash online. Among Wall Street employees in particular, criticism was raised that the workplace culture of enforcing long hours of labor is still rampant. Gray Hou, co-CEO of BoA, deactivated his social media account as criticism messages from those presumed to be bank employees kept coming.

A BoA spokesperson said the bank “deeply mourns the loss of a colleague,” and that it had no plans to investigate complaints that some bankers were being forced to work 100-hour weeks.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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