Morning Coffee: BAML interns plough on regardless. Hector Sants' great compliance hiring spree

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch offered its summer interns the chance to finish their programme early after the death of Moritz Erhardt, but they decided to keep working until the end of this week to compete for full-time places at the bank.

If this seems like diligence, it could be more down to desperation as interns continue to fight on for highly desirable, and highly-competitive, analyst places in spite of an event that caused shockwaves throughout the investment banking intern community.

“Young people are very desperate,” said Katerina Rudiger from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. “This kind of economic situation can mean they’re open to exploitation, or might go the extra mile, not even because it’s being asked of them but because they think that’s what they need to do.”

All-nighters, insist a number of former interns, are not necessarily pushed by the bank, but are embraced by interns to ingratiate themselves into the team and impress senior bankers. “You’re not being exploited, you are exploiting yourself,” said Jana Bakunina, who left banking in 2009.

Meanwhile, The Times has interviewed Erhardt’s former Physics teacher, Winfried Sturm, said that he warned the “active and conscientious” student not to focus purely on work and money, something he blames on harming his own health.

“It was my impression that everything he wanted to do, he did it 100% — that was very important to him. I cannot imagine him starting something that he would not finish and make a very good job of. He was incredibly single-minded,” he said.

Separately, if you’re looking for a compliance job, apply to Barclays. The bank is in the midst of a huge hiring spree, the size of which has caused excitement in the City. It’s led by Hector Sants, who says there are still another 300 new jobs to fill to take total compliance headcount at the bank to 2,000.


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