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EDITOR’S TAKE: The tragic death of Anjool Malde

During this downturn, several financial services professionals have taken their own lives, including ABN AMRO board member Huibert Boumeester, found dead last week in woodland.

However, the death of Anjool Malde last weekend is the most troubling.

Wearing his best suit, and holding a glass of champagne, Malde jumped from the roof of the Coq D’Argent at around midday on Sunday. It was two days before his 25th birthday.

His death is made all the more poignant by the vibrancy of his life. Both his Facebook page and his Twitter account describe a gregarious, inspirational, entrepreneurial man of immense achievement. As well as holding down a demanding job at Deutsche, Malde organized ‘Alpha Parties,’ contributed to a book, Racing Towards Excellence, and worked on the IT for the Angus Lawson Memorial Trust. Weekends were spent at a newly purchased flat near Marbella.

No one can know what really prompted Malde to take his life. The immediate trigger seems to have been concern that he would lose his job: he had been sent home early from work the previous Friday, and his Bloomberg account had allegedly been deleted.

In the context of a long life, losing a job in one’s mid-20s is a setback, not a catastrophe.

Pressure to succeed, a schedule which allows little time for rest, and lack of sleep may obscure this. On Twitter, Maldesaid he’d worked 27 hours straight, while in an interview he said he also worked evenings and weekends on Alpha Parties. A friend interviewed by the Daily Maildescribed him as never sleeping and living on Red Bull.

In his new book, Stephen Green chairman and former CEO of HSBC, talks of accepting the ‘ambiguity of imperfection,’ as a way of living with the anxiety of a 21st century in which the pressures of globalization and the threat of job loss are constant.

One of Malde friends on puts it more succinctly on the Facebook page devoted to his memory:

“This was the only stupid thing you’ve done in your life. It is also the most permanent thing. There was always another exit, especially for someone like you.”

Comments (32)

Comments
  1. Tragic. If all you know is success, failure (if you can even call a possible layoff that) is terrifying.

  2. There must be more to the IT matter, fraudulent activity perhaps.

    Also, why throw himself from the Coq, unoriginal for someone unique.

    It’s heartbreaking that he never gave his parents a chance to understand that he was feeling this way.

  3. what a shame – but agree with Jim Robbins that there must have been something murky. Nonetheless, a bright, driven and entrepreneurial guy like him would have succeeded at anything in the long run

    RIP Jools

    @ Tony, you’re a total dick

  4. Jim, at least have some respect for someone who has passed away. From what I gather, he was a very talented and sucess-driven young man and by all accounts, according to people who knew him (that excludes you), he was indeed very unique.

    On the other hand, it is very sad that he could not confide someone who could give him good elderly counsel. After all, whats the worst that could have happened, he could have lost his job and probably the properties he had acquired, but that by no means would have been the end of the world for a bright, ambitious 25yr old.

    Remember, your life is worth more than any investment bank could offer or other grandiose ambitions. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

  5. Sarah, according to the FSA Register Huibert Boumeester is still registered as “Active”. I registered a complaint with them last month via their call centre that he was dead. I guess they are a bit slow to recognises that he is now a deceased banker. Or as John Cleese would say to a certain Norwegian Blue parrot. “Polly parrot wake up.” I also called the compliance officer at Artemis Investment Management last month and he said that he informed the FSA of his resignation back in January. That is this year. The FSA are such a deadful embarassment. Don’t you want to maybe give them a call and tell them to update their register that this banker is dead. No more! Deceased.

  6. I hope the inquest spends some time on DB’s HR process, in particular, how this young man was counselled regarding the rather significant indicator – losing his Reuters log on. If the Army is responsible for PTSD amongst it’s soldiers, why do we turn a blind eye to psychological injury caused by poor managers in the City? No doubt DB want this out in the open to stop speculation.

  7. Wizard – can you really expect HR to be doing anything other than chatting about last night’s episode of Eastender’s ? The day that HR prove to be a valuable asset to any Bank and the sun will rise in the west.

  8. I totally agree with Observant .

    better dealings than your current dealings Reply
     
  9. As many people who knew him would add, it’s very unlikely that this was down to something brewing at work. He loved life for all the things outside of the office. The last chapter in his life is as much an individual as he was and stereotyping him as another stressed banker among many, is meaningless.

    Another Friend Reply
     
  10. Niv, are you a facebook friend of his? It’s poignant that he had so many (~500) facebook friends but no-one to confide in. Were they all friends because of the riches he gained and spread?

    I have sympathy with his parents and for him, but the only thing I can think of that would make him jump was the possibility of a long-term jail sentence, (re: Madoff of which he would have been aware).

  11. Very sad news indeed. Shows that sometimes this game is all about resiliency and tragic he didn’t feel that he could confide in anyone.

  12. Incidently, I didn’t even know this guy existed, now that may be purely because we moved in different circles, but its a small world. Besides I can’t be bought with money (I’m content with the little I have), nor am I a sycophant. At the same one must be empathetic to the plight of those close to him.
    You could feel free to speculate and belittle his acheivements, after all thats the stance adopted by the masses. Or try to be unique and look at it differently.

  13. I was a school friend of Jools, and I’m just horrified about all these callus comments. Yeah he had 500+ frinds on Facebook, me included, and don’t you think every single one of us has asked ourselves “why didn’t he confide in us? Maybe if I said something he’d have turned 25?” Whether or not there was something murky going on, who cares? Whatever it was, it can’t have been bad enough to do that. Also, he was too busy and too sensible to do drugs.
    You’re entitled to your oppinion, but just remember, when you make comments like that in a public forum, you don’t know who you might touch.

  14. “It’s poignant that he had so many (~500) facebook friends but no-one to confide in” -agree!

    “Were they all friends because of the riches he gained and spread?” -or maybe he allowed them to add him was for the same reason

    “He loved life for all the things outside of the office. ” -….perhaps all the things outside of the office are for all the things inside the office. networking is not to find sb. to confide in, it’s to find sb. “useful”

  15. Henry? Are you there? Can you comment?

    Harold Macmillan Reply
     
  16. Although we may not know all circumstances surronding their deaths, it’s very sad that most of these guys were = their jobs and they had nothing else to live for when they lost them

  17. If you want to make 500 facebook friends, take your bonus money and throw some lavish parties for the hottest young people you can find. Don’t need to be a rocket scientist or even a trader to figure that one out.

  18. @Scott

    Harsh, but true. What attracted you to millionaire Paul Daniels etc

  19. If he was so wonderful, ambitious etc losing your job, sacked or otherwise should not prove too much of an obstacle at his age.

  20. There is a famous saying which explains that all the miniature and trivial creatures in the forest only attack the elephant when it has collapsed in a heap.

  21. I couldn’t agree more with Niv.

    For the ignorant who’ve made ill-thought throwaway comments – Jools never touched drugs, and rarely drank. He organized parties for people as an entreprenuerial venture outside of work, he did not host them.

    He had worked incredibly hard for many years. There is nothing more true than the fact he used to live on red bull and no sleep. Over the years he had devoted a lot of time helping peers gain success in their various endevours yet he asked nothing in return. He had acheived an immense amount in his short life – his only flaw was that he was a perfectionist.

    On a separate note DB PR have a lot to answer for; Bloomberg have confirmed they deleted his account on Friday. Given I have a friend who left voluntarily a week prior but whose account per usual is enabled but not active, I question their pretence of having not suspended nor fired Jools on a Friday. The unwritten City rule is you never lose people on a friday for this very reason.

  22. Niv if you’re female you are totally hot. If you’re male please ignore this comment ;-)

  23. I can confirm the redundancy process at most banks is awful. They drag you out of the desk by a phone call, the way you are waited for and watched at the door, the way they take your badge and phones, the way they bring your belongings in a doggy bag, and indeed the way they cancel your bloomberg account (without telling you and when you are still in consultation period so still employed in theory…) People you have work with for years cannot even look at you in the eyes and give you a proper explanation. This is a total shame. I went thru it and I still think about it everyday.

  24. No-one has questioned whether he tripped and fell rather than jumped.

  25. He may not have had anyone to confide in at work which comes as no suprise.

  26. To redundant from DB – poor you don’t do the same… maybe you were not good enough to stay? there is still plenty of people working in the city if you watch… and with a quiet market we do not anylonger work 12 hour a day… plenty of time to browse the net and even to sunbath with a nice sandwich in finsbury square or going clubbing weekdays. Bonus paid and maybe soon salary increase!

  27. Still at DB – err you’re a bit weird, right ?

  28. Still at DB: Your command of English is lacking and i wonder how long you will last at DB. I suggest you binge on sandwiches when you still can.

  29. Still at DB,
    I’m glad you’re still at DB. Its often ignored that natural selection has its way of protecting a small subset of the weaker species, after all evolution is not meant to be a perfect filter.

  30. A shame that good people like Anjool die and people like “still at DB” live. There is no god/justice in the world.

  31. TURN ON, TUNE IN, DROP OUT!

    Learn from Malde’s mistake, forget jobs, forget the 9-5, forget mortgage, government, savings, insurance, pension.

    Remember the chisel, remember the plough, remember family, community, trade, neighbours, joy!

    VIVA LA REVOLUTION! Or more Maldes will fall.

  32. RIP Mr Malde.

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