MD Can’t Unplug

TLDR; my senior banker gave birth on Friday and was emailing us from the delivery room. Less than 4 days after giving birth, she just asked to be sent materials our team is working on.

I am a junior at a BofA / Citi / UBS-type place and my senior banker was admitted to the delivery room late last week and was emailing us about random asks (e.g., data room access, staying on top of clients, etc.). She gave birth on Friday and by Tuesday has been asking us to send her materials we’re building and she’s been joining client calls.

It’s honestly sad that she has nothing else to focus on but the next deliverable, when she should be focused on the birth of her first child and her family. Feels hard to relate to someone who literally can’t unplug, even when being there for her family should be the main priority

 
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Just offering my two cents here, but to try and give her the benefit of the doubt, I think it is a very different situation to be in as a female MD having a child. I've had several male MDs over the years who have had children, and more often than not they'll continue to stay on top of processes and sent out emails regarding meetings/materials/etc. in the days leading up to and immediately after their child is born. As a female MD, there is absolutely pressure to do the same, especially when there are so few in the industry. Not saying this is an excuse to rush back into work, but just wanted to highlight. 

 

Agreed. A lot more pressure for female bankers so hard to blame her. I think the blame goes more towards the industry in general where people missing out on births and prioritizing banking over sons / daughters has become normal and expected. Absolutely ludicrous from any rational perspective and almost comedic.

 

I work with an incredible senior banker and he definitely makes it known when he is unavailable for something for his kids.  Now he always goes the extra mile and doesn't say no often, but he also has boundaries.  95% of things can wait and that's why you rely on a team and try to treat people right to have your back.

Just being a yes man doesn't make you a good or respected banker.  

 

I completely disagree. Working before / during / after delivery is unacceptable. 
 

1) First of all, it’s not a surprise and you have ample time (9 months) to prepare for ut

2) Second, who cares about some deal (one of the 50+ you’ve probably worked on) once you are bringing your kid to life?

3) I find it hard to believe that she would receive any kind of pressure while giving birth. If she did, it would be way too easy for her to sue her employer for discrimination for multiple $ millions. In my experience, it’s almost the opposite where for example female VPs would get ED promotion even though they’ve been out of for 6 months in that year. 

 

Nah, fuck all that.  I was a director and I absolutely unplugged a bit.

1) The birth is not a surprise (and people are very aware for females)

2) That's why you should have people around you that you trust to step in.

Sounds like this was either A) mis-managed by not having another senior in the loop to step in or B) she's really married to the game

 

Agreed - in this case it was the latter: hasn’t spoken on the calls she’s joined and comments and guidance on our materials don’t flow through her to get our deliverables done

 
Controversial

Think people are being patronizing here.

No one can really appreciate how soul crushingly boring and tiresome the period after a kid is born can be until they’ve done it.

My wife has nothing to do with banking and she was so happy to have a moments to get away from the baby and do some work.

Dont get me wrong, we love our children but they are a lot more interesting now than when they were infants. 

 

Spoken like a true sociopath MD banker.

"oh no, its so boring dealing with an infant child that needs my love and attention 24/7...I CANNOT WAIT to open up my work outlook and start going through emails! thats where the real excitement is"

just lol at your life bro

 
[Comment removed by mod team]
 

Agree to disagree.  But I rarely bored anymore.  I call it peace and solitude now, haha.

Yeah, I enjoyed sneaking away for a bit to the gym.  But work stuff — nah, miss me with that. Did not miss it one bit.

 

This industry is so broken lmao.

Similarly, an MD in my group was back online the same night of his wedding sending emails. How dead inside do you actually have to be to do this shit. Emails from the delivery room? Come on.

A guy literally died last week from over work and now no one cares anymore. Old news. This should be a warning to everyone who wants to work in banking / stay in banking. These are the people you surround yourself with. Dystopian.

 

The worst is people still do this shit while they get paid garbage, relatively speaking, so really no reward for grinding this hard. Compares banking pay pre GFC and now and it is pitiful. Adjust for inflation and you realize how dumb the trade off is if you are pulling this shit in banking in 2024.

 

Women seniors are the worst. Never met a chill women senior. All the IB women that are chill are unfortunately perceived to be weak and quit / get laid off by the mid-levels. Leaves only the she-zillas left at Director / MD.

Sad but true. Dont get me started on the…

 

lol... an alternative take on this perspective...

Yes, i've seen more burnout amongst my female colleagues. It is often that the women who are "nice" as juniors get taken advantage of, they aren't able to push enough work down at the associate level onto their analysts. It breaks them, and they have to leave. The people who survive to be senior bankers are not empathetic types, they have no problem pushing work down onto juniors at 2am. It's how you survive to the next level. This is true for men and women. It's not a great quality in either of them. But women take more shit for it cause they are supposed to be kind and self-sacrificial.

 

you unplug and then suddenly one year later you're laid off without explanation. have seen it happen personally with a female director at one of the banks you mentioned. it's unfortunate that women have to go above and beyond to show their commitment to the job. why do you think firms recruit heavy for female diversity at the analyst level? they know it'll catch the eye and distract from the fact that an incredibly incredibly few number of women actually make it to the top and the infrastructure in place is rubbish to support these women.

 

I get where a lot of you are coming from, but the reality of child birth is it's very boring. I mean think about it... your MD has been sitting in a hospital room for the last 4 days bored out of her mind - you can only hold your kid for so long. She can't send out a few emails (which takes 5 min) just asking for updates on things? 

With that being said, I hate people that just make work their whole personality. I get deals give you a rush, but stop acting like you just went skydiving.

 

It's probably a more relaxing recovery for her if she stays a bit connected and doesn't have to stress about falling too far behind on something.  She can spend some of the day keeping things under control instead of having it always in the back of her mind that her clients or colleagues might be losing in some way while she's out of pocket.

 

Probably the most rationale perspective on this thread and probably very accurate. However, I still think this discussion should be more weighted towards the baby getting the connection / attention / love from the mother more so than anything else. It’s about the child now and any professional that tips the other way once the baby is born is irresponsible at best. The child will develop (or not) accordingly.

 

Eh, this should have all been tee'd up. In theory she should be out of pocket for several weeks, months really. This isn't like a two day turn around that she'd fall behind on. At least not if its a healthy working environment. As far as clients are concerned, if a client is to crazy to understand then is that a client worth having. Seems like a bad culture. 

 

You haven’t worked in IB and it shows. You have so many wrong assumptions I can barely figure out where to begin, but I’ll pick two:

1) It’s not necessarily about client demands. It is often about opportunities. Banker knows that a *potential* client could use a meeting about XYZ topic. Banker has been wooing that client for years. Now banker wants to stay in the mix while that potential client could be ripe for a deal. This example (which is typical) has nothing to do with a demanding client. It’s an individual banker making a choice about her business.

2) “This should have been teed up way beforehand” um no, absolutely not how it works at all in IB. Things develop quickly and a single deal can make a banker’s year. Each MD is his/her own business unit, this isn’t like many other businesses where there’s firm-level work being doled out. She’s managing her own P&L for the most part.

I don’t know what’s more patronizing, all these kids telling a senior partner how to manage her time or an asset manager telling us all how IB works. 

 

Probably because you're already so used to sacrificing personal life for the job

 

This is more common than you think. My female colleagues who started families have double the pressure because they get overlooked on deals by guys that think they don't grind hard enough. I guess she feels stuck or like she needs to show she's serious and back to work immediately. Give her a few days and chances are she'll slow down while adjusting to the new baby. If she's still at the hospital, she is probably bored and checking up on work gives her something to do.

 

Man this is so sad. This poor women is beyond institutionalized. Having kids, as a man, yea there is a ton of downtime the first few days as the kid is sleeping most of the time. Its one thing to check on loosely on things but managing a process just seems more absurd. You're still exhausted...and this is as the man. The mother is breast feeding and/or pumping...probably wearing adult diapers, just totally physically and emotionally drained. Its even crazier the first time around. Curious if this is her first kid or like number 2/3/4 so she knows the drill. Still very physco behavior. 

The worst part about her is that it signals to Associates/VPs/Directors that are pregnant that they can't take time off either even though most firms this day and age have it. Or even the fathers using their time. I'm on the buyside at my firm we get 6 weeks paternity, longer maternity, and everyone has taken it. I have other friends at buyside shops with similar/better policies and take it too. 

Her behavior shouldn't be normalized or celebrated...taking the time off you're allotted should. 

Edit: what's worse too from a talent management perspective, this kinda behavior probably pushes people away from internally progressing and instead leave for other opportunities. Lots of brain drain caused by unnecessary hardos. 

 

This post brought up a very distinct memory of mine from when I was in IB. One of my MDs (she was probably around ~40 at the time) had a girl who was 2 years old and said to us one night in the bullpen, "every time I go to pick her up out of her crib, she asks for her dad instead." She told us this in a joking manner, but I thought it was an incredibly sad reality. Thanks for sharing. 

 

Incredible how different the expectations are for any other industries. Heard some tech companie gives 2-3 months off for paternity (granted I'm not sure how many truly take that much time off since unlimited PTO / great benefits in tech are often a trap especially in this economy). Not sure about maternity but I'd imagine they're phenomenal at the FAANGs / other large tech companies.

 

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