Summer Analyst dies at Lincoln International

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Did anyone else hear about a summer analyst dying recently at a Chicago MM? Apparently he had worked some crazy amount of all nighters. Unclear as to what the exact cause of death was.

I’m not bringing this up for e-cred but to say that this shit is absurd and needs to change, I’m sure it will take a while to happen but I’d hope that today’s analysts and associates will improve banking culture so shit like this doesn’t happen anymore. The work is important and demanding but in my mind an intern shouldnt ever be working past midnight.

Mod Note (Andy): What can WSO do to help prevent more tragedies like this? Please add your thoughts here: "Death From Overwork (Karōshi) In Finance"

Comments (167)

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 9:47am

Can't stand the ridiculous IB hours but why is everyone jumping to conclusions? To my knowledge, the cause of this kid's death is unknown.

Array
 
Jul 30, 2018 - 10:56am

Interesting that this isn't a bigger story...

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers
 
Jul 30, 2018 - 2:15pm

Thanks for dropping knowledge. To the skeptics, Lincoln International has already confirmed that someone died - only the cause of death is up for debate...

Seeing the service and his typical bio (non-target hustling for internships) really got me emotional.

EDIT: Should his name be kept off here out of consideration for family? Probably not, but just a thought. Let's be sure to be respectful.

Array
 
Jul 30, 2018 - 7:48pm

If the doctors come out and say this was induced by work hours related stress that company is fucked. It's one thing when a kid has a heart attack at home in the shower, but at his desk its going to crush the analysts and I can see a bunch of them jumping ship. The company is going to have to drastically raise comp to keep morale at a workable level.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne
 
Jul 30, 2018 - 4:00pm

i find it disturbing that the spokeswoman in the efinancialcareers article offered NO words of sympathy regarding the death... no acknowledgment of how tragic this is -- only deflecting blame. really really awful. hope to see them change their tune here... this was a human life... not some deal gone bad.

especially weird given all the stuff on glassdoor about their culture.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 4:03pm

:

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.

Wow, you're right. That was cold.

-
 
Jul 30, 2018 - 4:06pm

I'm actually a squirrel:

:

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.

Wow, you're right. That was cold.

It's possible (though not likely IMO) that they did offer words of sympathy, but they weren't included in the article. But if you're right, then I agree.

Array
 
Jul 30, 2018 - 4:07pm

Comment from the linked article above: "His name was Shivam Chokshi, and he worked several nights in a row until 4:30am or so before passing away. It is absolutely horrible that the bank has somehow decided that his working hours were not to blame -- they were very likely a contributing factor at the least. The bank's response here is a completely disgraceful, insensitive and disgusting blow to Shivam's family and friends, as well as to their other junior employees."

Crazy if true

Array
 
Jul 30, 2018 - 4:19pm

You would think whoever was looking over him would know better than to let someone work that long continuously... bad management.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 4:31pm

Such a shame. So sad that this happened, I bet he was a nice guy. I know a lot of us deal with long hours as just part of the job but this kind of stuff cant happen basically each year. Eventually cultures will need to change, even in finance.

As OP said, its up to todays analysts and associates (which i imagine many of us are) to break the cycle and change the culture down the road so stuff like this doesnt happen to anyone else.

Dayman?
 
Jul 30, 2018 - 4:34pm

Wow, really sad news all around. Whoever was the Staffer/VP or whatever on that deal needs to be canned IMMEDIATELY. These are kids at the end of the day and you need to look after them.

This isn't the wild west nor is it combat zone. When is the last time you heard an INTERN dying on the job in any other industry?

For current interns/analysts - it is OK to say no when it is within reason. Working past 1 AM every night for a week? Don't ask, TELL them you need the weekend to catch up on sleep. No client is worth your health.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 4:58pm

Well that's all cute and all but the poor kid was probably trying to get a return offer with a non target over his head... how is he going to say no? Disgusting stuff. Some type of curfew law better come out of this.

I agree with you, the VP/Staffer head should be served on a platter and made an example of... He should be jailed for mental and physical harassment if it was known that the kid had seizures at his desk... wow poor kid this is awful.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 5:16pm

Macronmania:

Well that's all cute and all but the poor kid was probably trying to get a return offer with a non target over his head... how is he going to say no? Disgusting stuff. Some type of curfew law better come out of this.

I agree with you, the VP/Staffer head should be served on a platter and made an example of... He should be jailed for mental and physical harassment if it was known that the kid had seizures at his desk... wow poor kid this is awful.

I don't disagree but that's the mentality we're trying to "change" right? Giving up the right to live for a banking job? Give me a break. Even in hell week in SEAL training they give you the weekend off because you need to heal.

Said differently, if analyst finds an error in a pitchbook before print, do you correct the mistake or let it go? It's the same concept, except the "mistake" is a human life and you need to stop the mistake (in this case, a life...)

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 5:39pm

Whiskey5 This reminds me of the thread about longest hours worked in a week. There is no reason why in gods name anyone needs to work multiple days past 1AM. Sanity and health are worth far more than a client is, any day of the week. The more people run on nothing, the harder it is to justify wanting to come in and be productive.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 5:51pm

This story just makes me sad because I can 100% relate. I went to a non-target and had to hustle my ass off to get the return offer but this does not equate to giving up the right to live for a job offer. Life has much more to offer than 2+2 -> HBS...

The saddest part of this story (if i'm a betting man), is that the deadline was probably driven by the MD/D/VP, not even the client. Lincoln is actually coming to pitch me for an exit, I really fucking hope this intern didn't work on my deal.

 
Controversial
Jul 30, 2018 - 5:56pm

It's not the hours but the responsibility of the analyst/associate to make sure that those directly under their command are in good shape. I always tell them to make sure they eat a healthy diet, rest instead of partying, and workout. The stronger your body the more able you are to endure the long hours.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 6:27pm

They aren't your troops, they didn't sign up for the military.

There's no need for 4-5 AM nights for interns. They simply don't have the value to make that ever worthwhile. They shouldn't have to rest instead of partying (maybe on weekdays, I agree), and you need time to unwind.

You risk losing them to other banks or having a headline like this one.

Array
 
Jul 30, 2018 - 6:34pm

Eh I'm an analyst and don't decide their hours but yes i'd rather they left earlier! If you're going to criticize me for asking my interns to take care of themselves then you're an idiot.

But evidenced by your thread on burning out (see below) you made the wrong decisions "to unwind" and need to step away from the industry as a whole to recover.

https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/burnout-life-choices

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 6:32pm

I’ve got interns too man. There’s no reason they should consistently work past midnight. None. Its not worth something like this happening. I like the pay your dues hierarchical structure that Banking offers, however there is something severely wrong if people think working a 20/21 year old past 2am every night without end is even remotely acceptable.

 
Aug 3, 2018 - 2:28am

Your arguments are only partially relevant to this guy’s death.

As a former pro natural bodybuilder and now an engagement Manager, I know the merits of maintaining a healthy body to working and burning burning the midnight oil.

If someone has an unknown genetic disease/ deep rooted/ manifested lifestyle issue not yet discovered then they will emerge when triggered or onset by extenuating circumstances such as this.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 6:01pm

This is not confined to the banking community but rather to specific work environments. There was a story about 10 years ago, completely documented and true, that a proof-reader at one of the large publication houses in NYC died while sitting at his desk, in his typical posture, hunched over a stack of edits.

Don't recall all of the specifics, but suffice it to say the guy was there nearly a week before anyone actually realized he was doing more than his typical 90-hour work weeks

 
Aug 4, 2018 - 9:30am

Not that it matters, but this story ran in a local newspaper down in the Carolinas so the paper was misinformed as well. After I started thinking about it, this story was more like 20 years ago but I make no assertions as to the veracity of the article.

My primary point was that over-extending oneself for their job is not restricted to banking by a longshot. As a former engineer/project manager who worked startups and outages on power plants, there were hundreds of men on these jobsites who would go from one outage to another around the country, work 6 - 9 months/year and take the rest of the time off. These outages are run around the clock, 24/7 until the outage is over.

I personally have put in 100+ hour work-weeks during outages for 6 - 9 weeks in a row, but these were jobs where I was responsible for the success/failure of the outage for one plant. Incredibly stressful, horrible on the body and mind, but quite nice financially. What I found amazing were the men who owned fifth-wheels, went from one outage to the next, and work 7 days/week until the job was over.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 7:39pm

This is really sad but it portrays the reality. Working hours are treated as honor badges and some people in the WSO WhatsApp group have admitted that they work until 3 am regularly. It makes me even sadder that this is my dream... there must be something really wrong with us as a society if 250k people apply for 1000 of these positions. What saddens me even more is that nothing will change and this has been going on for the past 30+ years.

CURRENT INTERNS:
The only thing I want to add that besides taking care of your physical health (eating food and staying hydrated) please talk to your closest people if it is difficult for you. It is extremely difficult and there’s no shame in admitting it to your family/friends. Don’t hold it in yourself.

Edit: I may have went over the line by checking his facebook but I did. 37 weeks ago a girl commented “wall street ready” and it broke my heart.. 2nd heartbreak comes from his mother’s comment in which she says “miss you”... he probably went away from his family and just wanted to make them happy and proud. no mother deserves this...

 
Most Helpful
Jul 30, 2018 - 7:45pm

I am very saddened by this news and I send my deepest condolences to Shivam's family.

I am also pissed off and wondering what can be done to stop this (or at the very least make it much more rare)?

The WSO Community has a big voice in this industry and I see it as a voice for junior bankers and these exact students/interns that are pushing themselves to such extremes. I feel horrible that it's been 12+ yrs since we started WSO and the same shit keeps happening.

I don't know the specifics of this exact case but it seems irresponsible to assume it is not at least somewhat related to the working conditions (even if there was an underlying health issue). So how do we change the culture? Most BBs have instituted certain policies that make it harder for abuse on the interns/analysts, but what about the MM and boutiques?

Where can people easily find these policies? Are they publicly posted and compiled anywhere? How do we know if the banks are actually following them? I think WSO could help bring some of this change and put pressure on the industry to treat their junior bankers better.

What if we were to try and create a general industry policy that helped protect the most vulnerable to overwork/abuse at the bank and have the banks sign it? and then as part of WSO Company Database would rank the banks on how well they adhere to the policy?

I'm sick of these horrible headlines - let's change it together. Who's in?

Collecting thoughts here: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/policy-to-help-prevent-death-fro…

-Patrick

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 9:28pm

You know, there are a decent number of industries that work people at 4AM, etc. All of them that I know of outside of banking utilize rotations and/or on-call schedules. And sure, employees get abused under those systems too, but from my perspective, this is a largely solved problem that banking refuses to acknowledge because that would require considering that maybe banks haze their employees and/or run leaner than is reasonable

I'll be the first one to say that I'm just a student that knows nothing, but this seems a lot like "we tried nothing and we're all out of ideas" to me. And how does an intern even have the responsibility to be working enough hours to be worked to death anyway? What did they just haze the guy because the intern isn't going to say no? If this was work related, it's utterly despicable on the bank's part.

 
Jul 31, 2018 - 12:15am

The sad part is.. you are right. Doesn’t matter how much of a superstar intern you are, truth is you are an intern and whatever keeping you at the office at 4am isn’t due to that your work is absolutely instrumental to the team. Some of it might just be that your other teammates (who are more experienced and taking on more real responsibilities and therefore actually staying out of necessity) are still in the office, so as an intern you feel compelled to stick around. It might be that you are assigned to do something and it just takes you more time to figure out how to do it with minimum guidance. I’ve never ever seen an intern bearing the weight of an actual transaction, because that would be an extremely irresponsible and frankly unhelpful thing for the deal team to do.

I fully blame his team and senior folks for this. He probably was in the office thinking that’s the right thing to do, because that’s what interns are all trained to think. It’s the associate, VP or MDs job to guide and take care of a kid who’s like 8 weeks into this job.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 8:54pm

Impending legal issues seem almost definite...though that will never bring back this hardworking individual. Can't imagine if this was a co-worker. A moral travesty...work should NEVER cause a death!

My soul is highly leveraged
 
Jul 30, 2018 - 9:34pm

Wow.

"I'm at a loss, he was part of that whole Yale thing... Well, I think, for one, that he was probably a closet homosexual who did a lot of cocaine... You know, that Yale thing."
 
Jul 30, 2018 - 11:57pm

You could argue that they diminish to the point of being negative. Can't count the number of times I've looked at work I did at 3 am the night before and wondered what I possibly could have been thinking. (Then in 15 minutes I fixed or redid from scratch 2 hours "work" from the night before).

 
Jul 31, 2018 - 9:34am

They actually already have. Pencavel (2014):

"Observations on munition workers, most of them women, are organized to examine the
relationship between their output and their working hours. The relationship is nonlinear:
below an hours threshold, output is proportional to hours; above a threshold, output rises at a
decreasing rate as hours increase. Implications of these results for the estimation of labor
supply functions are taken up. The findings also link up with current research on the effects of
long working hours on accidents and injuries."

I guess that is quite clear, and backs up the intuition. Sadly most people will not take things like this into account, until it is researched exactly in the applicable conditions.

Besides: This is tragic. It is a result of a dysfunctional old-school way of doing things. Sadly, most sectors do not move towards fewer hours, but towards more. I do not think I have seen a single job-ad on my university's career platform that did not include the line "No nine to five mentality". Seems we are a long way to go.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 10:37pm

I think people need to do some probability analysis on this. Between interns and other juniors there are likely 20-30k people. You hear a story like this once every three years. A 1-50k probability. I’d be curious what percent of average 23 year olds have a sudden death.

Sorry he died. But I’m not sure “banking killed him” is correct.

 
Jul 30, 2018 - 11:43pm

Hi everyone. I'm a reporter with the Chicago Tribune. I am trying to learn more about what happened to this young man. If you have any concrete information, or if you know anyone who worked with Shivam at Lincoln or who knew him personally, please contact me: aelejalderuiz (at) chicagotribune (dot) com, 312-222-4986. Thank you very much.

 
Jul 31, 2018 - 12:59am

This is sad. I had a friend leave after 1 year at Citigroup after pulling in massive hours and did not want to deal with another year.

The system needs to change where people (anyone) is not pulling massive hours into the morning working constantly. The body can only take so much abuse before it decides to clock out.

I know a few nurses who pulled 16 hour days (my ex included), it took a lot of convincing for me to have her leave that job and get into a better work hours role.

As always, your health and well-being comes first, we only get one shot at life.

No pain no game.
 
Jul 31, 2018 - 1:48am

Stress from the work itself combined with the fight for a FT spot can be gruesome. Maybe he has some pre-existing health issues.

Array

 
Aug 1, 2018 - 2:27pm

It sucks to say this but anybody from Lincoln that talks to that reporter (or any reporter) would be snuffed out and blacklisted from the firm and probably most firms that the MD/D has connections to. That's just the nature of the business. "From the outside you can't understand it and from the inside you can't explain it."

 
Aug 5, 2018 - 8:18pm

It's because Lincoln is an unknown non-NY MM bank. Before this, I hadn't even heard of it, and so you bet that the general IB-hating, socialist public hasn't heard of it. If it was GS or BAML or JPM or another big, high profile and publically listed bank, you bet it would be front page because it would sell and people would circle jerk about what assholes we all are.

 
Aug 3, 2018 - 2:41pm

I wonder if it isn’t just the hours but the mind fuck culture of some VPs and above, just to make themselves feel better about their own lame lives. Maybe other groups are different but at my shop they will laugh at kids’ immaturity and ambitions and yell at them when the numbers don’t be come how out they want them too. I’d love to work long hours with nice people. It’s the working long hours for assholes that really sucks.

 
Aug 3, 2018 - 8:25pm

I heard a story once of a HL analyst (I believe M&A out of MPLS office) having a few all nighters around the time of HL's IPO. I believe it was two in a row then he had a seizure and woke up in the hospital.

 
Aug 5, 2018 - 2:45am

Very close to him, til the end. Prefer to be anon in that.

This story has obviously snowballed here into something it is definitely not. He was not overworked, completely healthy, and this seems like a freak thing. Freak things, esp with a beyond healthy 21 y/o kid like Shivam, take time to investigate. It's pretty obvious to those that knew him that stress, fatigue, or management were not at fault here. He took care of himself no doubt. It's been 2 weeks - if anyone thought Lincoln was somehow involved you'd be hearing about it. It's not, so just respect his family's grieving for God's sake.

If you actually do feel for the story of a first gen self-made non-target kid who worked his ass off to get where he is and was known as just an all around stellar guy, look him up, see who he really was from the people who knew him. Make it personal and make him remembered or at least take some compassion from this - Don’t make him just another pawn in this narrative about the cruelty of IB. He wouldn’t have wanted that and truly loved what he did and it fucking sucks he didn’t get to see that through because he would’ve been great.

 
Aug 6, 2018 - 1:37am

Or just someone who actually cares about Shivam/knew him well and doesn’t want him to be a pawn in this anti-Lincoln agenda, especially as it’s not relevant to this situation at all? Just hate to see his death turn into this - he was genuinely an incredible dude and grinded for everything he got. My comment wasn’t to spark debate, just to say don’t believe everything you see and humanize this tragedy.

 
Aug 9, 2018 - 11:34am

I'm really sorry for your loss. I looked at his LinkedIn and it appears he was one of us, I assume I'm not the only one who realized that. Hopefully it is of comfort to those who knew Shivam that people rallying against the IB workload don't have all of the facts as to whether it does or doesn't apply in this case. Their position comes from a good place, a place of trying to prevent the tragic loss of more members in our community.

Even if the facts don't apply in this specific case (and we probably will never, and should never know); there is clearly a larger issue at heart and people are expressing concerned dialogue because of the loss of one of our own. Hopefully it's comforting that a fight for better treatment is because of concern for people like him... because in him, many of us also see ourselves.

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