Young Bankers Fed Up With 90-Hour Weeks Move to Startups

Nice job Patrick!

Executives can be less interested in their young assistants' health than they are in getting a deal done, former junior bankers say. One recalls working on a deal through a nasty sinus infection. When the banker resisted flying out of town to meet with the client, the managing directors said it was mandatory.

The pressure from the flight ruptured the banker's eardrum, which started bleeding. The team pushed on with the deal talks despite the fact that the banker had lost hearing in one ear. Upon returning to New York, the banker went straight to the emergency room, where doctors ordered no flying for the next five months, preventing the banker from attending future client meetings on crucial deals.

Former junior bankers say they quickly learned how to make do on four to five hours of sleep a night, especially during the financial meltdown in 2008 to 2009.


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Comments (13)

May 9, 2014

This has been an ongoing trend. Banking has become extremely regulated, which will increase as time progresses, the work is mundane and boring, and lastly, nobody wants to work 90+ hours a week. Tech i.e. GOOG, AAPL, FB, etc will continue to be able to attract and retain top talent than any BB could imagine. The only reason people go into IB is to lateral into something else when their two year contract is up, whether it be PE, VC, HF whatever. Now that buyside firms are recruiting from H/W, a lot of the top talent can avoid going the two year BB. This trend will continue, not surprised in the slightest.

May 9, 2014

Also, as stupid as this sounds, a lot of people care what other people think. I go to a top-target and people here are obsessed with other's opinions. IB, and financial services in general, are drug through the dirt in the media, you have uneducated protesters (cough Occupy Wall Street cough). I'm sure IB is up there with law as one of the most shitted on career paths by the masses.

May 9, 2014

I agree with Patrick; these new initiatives banks are taking to make junior banker's lives more balanced are laughable. Sure, Goldman may give you a Saturday off, but you're fucked on Sunday. Not sure about you, but I hold my NFL Football as a top priority, so don't fuck with that.

May 9, 2014

Wow, that banker should have sued the shit out of the company he worked for.

May 9, 2014

And never get a job in the industry again? Sure.

May 9, 2014

He lost hearing in an ear, so assuming he got a good lawyer I would think he could at least get a couple mil.

May 9, 2014

My question is who the hell told them they wouldn't be in conditions like that to begin with? I sincerely doubt anyone about to go in to an IB analyst stint doesn't know about the 80-90+ hour work weeks.

They make more than 90% of people out of college and work twice as hard/long hours to do it. Why is this all the sudden so shocking to everyone? I am assuming that its more the media hyping all this crap up than coming from inside the IB community. Its been going on for years and the media acts like they just discovered 6 year olds working in sweatshops in downtown New York.

May 9, 2014

I keep having this internal debate of whether I could handle the 100+ hour work week. I know I could do a consistent 80, I've come close to doing it before. But, 100 is a lot. Over a 100 hours a week for a couple weeks straight would probably drive me insane.

May 9, 2014

I made the move from BB to help lead a major VC backed start-up. Couldn't be happier.

Skills you develop as a junior banker are great, but really your first year is valuable to a company. You learn how to model, deal with hours, and develop amazing proficiency with excel / ppt. No real industry knowledge, so you're a transferable asset.

If you're fed up with banking (I don't blame you) and don't consider it a career - I suggest moving sooner rather than later. Longer you stay, tougher it is for you to move (you're more expensive, golden handcuffs, etc). And marginal returns you get from staying longer diminish over time, of which - by the way - you have less because you're working so much. Understandably, business gets done outside of the hours of 9-5, but I don't really think a whole lot gets done between 9pm and 5am.

Aug 29, 2014

Hi ivyhockey
Can I ask you a couple of questions please related to your comment ?
I work as a journalist for a French financial magazine named L'Agefi and my next article is about how Wall Street banks manage to attire and retain young people/bankers. My article must be done for this Wednesday, 3 September. Here is my email : [email protected]
It wont be long !
Thanks a lot.

May 9, 2014

I get 4-5 hours of sleep a night usually, it's not really that hard. I have trouble trying to get more during the week.

May 14, 2014
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