Junior banker dies at M&A boutique. Firm denies working hours to blame

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Lincoln International

A junior banker has died at a mid-market boutique in Chicago. The reasons for his death are not clear, but colleagues had complained about long working hours.

The junior in question was working for Lincoln International, a global mid-market investment bank based in Chicago. He is understood to have been working in the Chicago office, and may have been a summer intern. (Update: We're told his name was Shivam Chokshi, a summer analyst who attended DePaul University. Friends have been posting tributes to Chokshi on social media).

The death was first reported on Wall Street Oasis, the investment banking forum website that first revealed the death of Bank of America intern Moritz Erhardt in 2013.

The cause of Choski's death remains unclear. Unnamed sources on Wall Street Oasis suggest that he had worked, "some crazy amount of all-nighters," although close friends deny this and say he was well-rested, that he loved his job and Lincoln International and was well-loved and respected by his colleagues.

A spokeswoman for Lincoln International confirmed that a junior banker at the firm passed away, but said it was not the result of "working all night shifts," and that Lincoln International has "standards and systems in place" to prevent these from occurring. "The health and well-being of our professionals is our highest priority," she added.

Lincoln International employs over 400 people and has offices in 20 locations globally, including London, Paris, Zurich, Madrid, Milan, Amsterdam and Frankfurt and has been expanding globally. Last year, it opened offices in Dallas and Munich. This year it has been hiring in Sweden. 

The company scores 4.4 stars out of five on Glassdoor from employees as a good place to work, and 90% of people there say they would recommend it to a friend. However, 27 out of 73 employee reviews cite erratic working hours and 17 complain that the hours are long ("as with all investment banks..."). Employees praise the management team for being "ethical" and taking an interest in juniors. However, there are also complaints of long hours, weekend work and a need to be available around the clock.

Following Erhardt's death, most banks implemented systems to restrict juniors' working hours. However, many young people coming into finance still expect to work until the early hours of the morning.  A separate thread on Wall Street Oasis suggests interns at bulge bracket banks have had their hours trimmed to between 60 and 70 a week thanks to the new restrictions, which typically limit working at weekends. However, boutique firms (although not Lincoln International specifically) typically have longer hours than the rest. 

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