Sleep has long been an issue in banking. Before ex-Goldman Sachs associate turned-academic Alexandra Michel highlighted the crazy abuse investment banking division (IBD) subject themselves to, there was Moritz Erhadt, the Bank of America intern who died of an epileptic seizure after working 72 hours straight in 2013. In December 2006, Harvard Business Review profiled Sudhir, a banking analyst who was working 120 hour weeks – and Joe, a managing director, who was working six or seven days a week from multiple locations and had one day a week for his family. Sleep and banking are have traditionally not been good bedfellows.
All this is supposed to have changed, though, with the introduction of various measures to curtail working hours for juniors in investment banking divisions, where the problem was supposed to be at its worst.
Has this really made a difference? We’d like you to take the (very brief) survey below, the results to which we’ll publish here in a week or so.
In the meantime, junior bankers we’ve spoken to said things have improved but not that much. “I worked on a particularly painful deal during my second year, which involved pulling two all-nighters in three days (the other nights that week were also extremely late),” says one analyst. “I was so exhausted, I ended up falling asleep at my desk.” Another, banking junior says you need to watch for teams with a large MD to analyst ratio: “In my last team there were as many analysts as MDs and we got smashed. The workload was immense.”
On the plus side, one junior says your body adapts to the overwork in M&A. He says nothing can be done about it anyway: “It is just a part a job that promises the highest level of service in return for huge fees; if a client sends an urgent request at midnight, then someone has to do it…”
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