PJT Addresses BoFA Aso Death

PJT gathered juniors to address the BoFA death. Absolute joke and demonstrates the industry’s lack of desire (not inability) to make meaningful reform. They began the meeting by emphasizing that we shouldn’t speculate the cause of death and that it could have been due to a variety of reasons. They extolled resources such as free therapy and meditation. They encouraged juniors to “watch out for one another”. No mention of implementing protected Saturdays or weekends, tracking hours, disciplining abusive seniors or at the minimum, hiring additional juniors to keep pace with senior hiring. There have been multiple instances of people taking a leave of absence due to physical and mental health issues in the past year 

 

And you care about them?  How hard will it hit you personally if something bad happens to a senior banker you barely know?  

Don't get me wrong, there are supposed to be safeguards to prevent this kind of problem.  And those safeguards failed.  It's just the whole "why don't they care more about us" that I question, when you don't care about them and the average tenure in any one seat is really short.

 

Dumb argument.

If you are in a leadership position, you are responsible for those below you - it’s pretty simple. An associate is not responsible for an MD’s workload because an associate can’t tell an MD what to do or give them work.

The whole issue here is that BofA worked a guy to death and doesn’t give a shit. It’s one thing for an MD to die working long hours at his own discretion. It’s something entirely different to have a junior die when they have no control over their hours and workload.

 
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Former Army Vet here.

Investment banking is full of "non-leaders" in senior management and this is a prime example.

"watch out for one another"??  seriously?

Imagine telling your soldiers in the military that.  "WE will not actively watch out FOR YOU.  So its on YOU to watch out for each other."

22 year old platoon leaders in the army have better leadership than 50 year old IB MDs in banking, and thats honestly pathetic.

 

I’m genuinely curious - how would you have handled it differently, based on your military experience? I’ve been in the private sector all the way along, so it’s hard to imagine. 

1. The military has regs for everything. It is, after all, a government organization, and which part of government doesn't love red tape? Difference between the military and the rest of government though is that a higher than average proportion of the red tape is there for health and safety reasons. Because to nobody's surprise, being in the military is riskier to your health than being part of Parks & Rec or whatever. So there are a shitload of safeguards in place to protect physical and to a lesser extent mental health.

2. Soldiers follow those regs much more strictly than private enterprises follow whatever rules HR decides to set up. Of course there are a ton of exceptions, nobody follows 100% of things to the tee, and any organization overwhelmingly filled with young men is going to mean a lot of stupid things happen. But in general you get a culture that is much more rigid and likely to actually stick within safety guidelines than you'd get in most private businesses. And entire groups dedicated to keeping other people in compliance with the rules.

3. If someone dies despite all those safeguards, whether because of an accident or during a training exercise or any other reason, there is invariably going to be a formal investigation, one going all the way up the chain of command. They don't handwave it and say, "Oh well, you other guys in the same unit, just try not to kill yourselves, okay?" And if shit happened because someone didn't follow the rules, then someone usually gets forced to take some actual responsibility for that. Certainly not always the rulebreaker, but at least it incentivizes people to believe that actions have consequences.

 

Was in the Army for several years before b-school...if this happened in the military every person in the immediate chain of command would get relieved and their career would essentially be over. For better or worse, it's 100% assumed that the chain of command's heads will roll when shit hits the fan like this. Has BofA done anything so far??

 

This is basically the entire root cause of the problems in this industry - no incentive to care about these skills. Leadership skills / people management skills do not have any relevance whatsoever in whether or not you get promoted. There is no concept of 360 reviews where juniors give you feedback and there is no direct accountability for the juniors staffed on your deal’s overall career progression and longevity - they’re fractional resources shared across all the seniors. Your staffer is a VP not an MD in most cases and lacks any authority to actually push back on seniors and it’s a rotating seat of 12 months or less - they don’t have to retain juniors and build a team that they will personally rely on for years to come. Your staffer is not evaluated on the basis of what % of juniors are retained. The program contracts are structured as 2-3 year commitments, so who cares if you don’t train your analysts or burn them out? No one has accountability over retention, development, training, morale. Juniors are told to manage up - manage your VP, manage your MD. Instead of MDs or VPs having to take leadership to organize people, the responsibility is on the juniors to manage their “leader’s” dysfunction and chaos because of lack of basic communication and organizational skills. 

The average PE guy or IB guy can’t run a business because they wouldn’t know how to hire or motivate anyone once the stick of 50% of your comp being discretionary is taken away from them. If you ran a team and had massive continuous headcount turnover under you, you’d be fired in most f500 companies. You’re viewed as not being capable of being in charge of people.

 

I guess at least they acknowledged it…neither my bank nor my seniors even mentioned it…but all still disgraceful and infuriating yes

 

Well, boutiques aren't really known for good leadership. It's a collection of self-interested salesman banded together under a single brand. These guys really don't care about much other than their revenue / bonuses at the end of the year. They don't see much value in their junior team. They're entirely driven by the mercenaries that they bring in at the top.

 

Then why you all chose this job just to bitch about something everybody knew before?

Oyu think you are the golden year were everything changes? No. You chose this and thats it.

 
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There’s one detail that no one seem to notice: This guy has a twin brother who is also an ex-Green-beret soldier. So we have here a pair of twin: same gene, same age, same military experience, the one who worked for BoA died, the one who didn’t work for BoA is healthily alive. Do you know what is this called ? This is called a controlled experiment and in academia this is sufficient to reach scientific conclusions that the differing factor has causal effect on the outcome ! And yet the bank is still in denial. What a bunch of clowns 🤡

 

Look at the photo of the twin ( this is from news so not privacy content ). Same look, same height, same body shape, same smile ! Literally the only differing factor in their life trajectory is that BoA job. A perfect control experiment designed by the god himself.

 
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It’s because a ton of people (you junior analysts) have rushed to conclusions when the “facts” have gone from 130 hours a week to 120 hours a week to ?.

you need to be less emotional and more critical in your judgements - a lot of us know people who work in that group and many know senior people there.

they don’t have the deal flow to support 130 hours a week, I know this because my friend literally worked on his deal. The actual facts completely negate the allegations the Ny post ran with (…really? That is the source you hung your hat on? Fucking shameful.) 

It’s an absolute tragedy, but this witch hunt on complete speculation is yet another shameful attempt at virtue signaling. It’s more Bs idiot hordes going after the head before knowing anything. 
 

A man died, let’s figure out exactly why before crucifying anyone else.
 

You wonder why so many people get hard sorted out of high finance and these really poor, impulsive judgements are a symptom of those people. 
 

Is GH a murderous dick? Maybe. Might also not be. Could be more to the story the family doesn’t know, but those facts are damn sure coming out. But that hasn’t stopped many of you from sharpening the pitch forks and you should feel some sense of shame for that. 

 

dude, get a grip. what are you talking about with that nonsense about people being sorted out of high finance? its not being impulsive, its just using common sense to extrapolate what likely happened.

what number of weekly hours would make you satisfied that the job did not affect his health? i've seen this argument quite often that it was not 120 hours, but really what number would make it okay? does below 100 make it any more acceptable? or what if we assume it was something "lower" like 85? the fact that he was on that particular deal would let us reasonably assume he likely hit at least 85 a week for numerous weeks straight to be conservative.

the fact that some people think this is any more reasonable just shows how terrible the culture is in this industry. the human body is just not made to run that hard under stress and at a desk, and any human body is going to be affected negatively. it doesnt take a medical degree to know this.

from what i understand, the bank and the group head have policies in place to specifically prevent these sort of situations given past incidents and it seems to have happened again. imagine being the standard being set so low that all you have to do is prevent deaths and serious bodily injury on your floor from office work and you still screw that up, even when you have everyone's hours in front of you and the dude is literally on the deal watching when emails are flying out in the mornings. the pitch forks are out because it was his literal job to not contribute to someone's demise brother.

 

What the hell do you mean, “does it make it okay?” You’re making more than most ever see in their lifetimes in comp day 1 out of college. Do you really think there aren’t sacrifices to be made?

obviously death is way over the line and needs to be investigated, but this country has something called due process to get to a conclusion and that hasn’t taken place yet. Your response proves everything I’m asserting and it’s incredibly telling when you locked on to that 1 part. 
 

yeah. It’s not for everyone. And I’m not even implying that’s a good thing. Not at all, I left banking bc it’s totally toxic and horrible.

but it’s 2024, that is well known. Life isn’t wonderland, this isn’t Star Wars. Bad shit and bad people are everywhere, and for all the e-warrior stuff you want to do, that’s not going to change anything.

 

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