US Banker’s Death At 35 Sparks Outrage Over Wall Street’s “Toxic” Work Culture

US Banker's Death At 35 Sparks Outrage Over Wall Street's "Toxic" Work Culture

The sudden death of a 35-year-old Bank of America associate has sparked outrage on Wall Street as bankers have criticized a toxic work culture they believe contributed to his death, particularly long work weeks. . Leo Lukenas III, a former Green Beret who was part of the bank’s Financial Institutions Group, died on May 2 from an “acute coronary artery thrombus,” according to the New York Post. His death occurred while he was working approximately 100 hours per week for several consecutive weeks on a $2 billion merger, which was completed three days before his tragic death.
The reaction on Wall Street to Mr. Lukenas’ death has been swift and severe, with many pointing fingers at the demanding work culture prevalent at many financial institutions, including Bank of America. According to the Post, bank staff criticized Mr Lukenas’ boss Gary Howe, co-head of the financial institutions group. Some employees reportedly even sent messages to each other about a possible walkout in an attempt to bargain for better working conditions.

On social media, a banker highlighted a list of demands for the welfare of employees. Demands include “proactive policies” that limit work schedules to an average of 80 hours in a 7-day period, and that employees receive at least one weekend off per month. It also demanded an investigation into the death of Mr Lukenas.

Bank of America, on the other hand, has said it has no plans to take action against Mr. Howe or investigate complaints that its junior bankers are forced to work 100-hour weeks. A BOA spokesperson told the Post, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our teammate. We are focused on doing whatever we can to support the family and our team, especially those who have Worked closely with him.”
Mr Lukenas is survived by his wife and two young children. According to the outlet, it is his dedication to his job that has led some Wall Street bankers to link his death to a culture they believe values wealth over well-being. His death reignited a long-running debate on Wall Street about banks’ responsibility to employees.

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