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Bank Of America Intern, 21, With Epilepsy Dies After Working 72 Hours In A Row

August 20, 2013

A very sad story that highlights the importance of breaks at work for everyone.

 

A 21-year-old who was interning at a London investment bank has died after reportedly working 72 hours in a row.

Moritz Erhardt was an exchange student from Germany studying at the University of Michigan and was interning at the Bank of America in London when he died, seven days before he was due to complete his summer internship.

According to reports, the business studies undergraduate suffered from epilepsy and collapsed in the shower at his student accommodation in Bethnal Green, east London, before being pronounced dead at the scene.

One anonymous poster on website the wallstreetoasis.com site said: “He was found dead in the shower by his flatmate. Intern at BAML [Banking of America and Merill Lynch] who went home at 6am three days in a row.”

Many of the comment threads focused on how hard interns were forced to work in banking internships, with many saying students felt they had to stay all night to be offered a job. Another commenter said his time in a banking internship was “the worst three months of his life.”

One former investment banker confirmed that interns could regularly work 14 hours days.

The banker, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Independent: “Interns can regularly clock up to 100 or even 110 hours a week, but  people are fully aware that banking is hard work and the company constantly reminds you to manage upwards in order to not overheat. This is the first time I’ve heard of something like this happening and banking is a very close culture.”

Banking interns at BAML are paid around £45,000 pro rata, or £2,700 a month.

One 20-year-old told the Evening Standard in 2011 that “you work whatever hours you’re  asked to”.

He added: “Every intern’s worst nightmare is what’s called ‘the Magic Roundabout’ – which is when you get a taxi to drive you home at 7am and then it waits for you while you shower and change and then takes you back to the office.”

A spokesman for BAML confirmed Mr Erhart’s death. Head of international communications John McIvor said Mr Erhardt was a “highly diligent intern”  and added:  “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the news of Moritz Erhardt’s death.

“He was popular amongst his peers and was a highly diligent intern at our company with a promising future. Our first thoughts are with his family and we send our condolences to them at this difficult time.”

Erhardt had already interned at Morgan Stanley, Corporate Global Investment Banking and Deutsche Bank, Corporate Finance Division.

An internal email circulated to residents of Claredale House, where Mr Erhardt was staying, read:

“Some of you might be aware that the Emergency Services were called to Claredale yesterday evening.

“The reason for this is that we were made aware of an incident involving one of our residents. Sadly the resident concerned had passed away.

“To avoid any rumours or misinformation, we would like to inform you all that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death. The incident is now in the hands of the police so we are unable to give any further information.

“At a very sad time like this, our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2013 12:48 pm

    on reading this at first it sounded like a DWP stunt in where they keep phoning you up saying get back to work or your benefits will stop

    this is a very tragic story but continues to highlight that the uk is not the place for a young person for their future

  2. Missus Tribble permalink
    August 20, 2013 12:57 pm

    Not enough people understand that epilepsy can – and all too often does – kill. Thank you for bringing this unpleasant but important truth back into the spotlight.

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