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.”