Wall Street shaken by sudden death of 35-year-old Bank of America associate amidst toxic work culture claims

The tragic event has sparked widespread outrage among bankers, who criticize the strenuous work culture at financial institutions, including Bank of America, as a contributing factor.

Livemint, Written By Shivangini
First Published11 May 2024, 11:16 AM IST
Wall Street professionals have openly condemned the intense demands placed on workers.
Wall Street professionals have openly condemned the intense demands placed on workers.(Bloomberg)

The sudden passing of 35-year-old Bank of America associate Leo Lukenas III, a former Green Beret and a member of the bank's Financial Institutions Group, has sent shockwaves through Wall Street. According to the New York Post, Lukenas passed away on May 2 from "acute coronary artery thrombus" after reportedly working approximately 100 hours weekly over several consecutive weeks. His death occurred just days after the completion of a $2 billion merger he had been working on.

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The tragic incident has ignited widespread outrage among bankers, who point to the demanding work culture at financial institutions like Bank of America as a contributing factor. In the aftermath, Wall Street professionals have openly condemned the intense demands placed on workers. The New York Post reports that Bank of America (BoA) staff members have targeted Gary Howe, co-head of the Financial Institutions Group, with some discussing a possible walkout to negotiate better working conditions.

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Despite the outcry, Bank of America has indicated it does not intend to pursue action against Howe or address complaints regarding the gruelling schedules of its junior bankers. A spokesperson for the bank expressed sorrow over Lukenas' death, stating, “We are very saddened by the loss of our teammate. We continue to do whatever we can to support the family and our team, especially those who worked closely with him,” as quoted by NY Post.

Lukenas is survived by a wife and two young children. His commitment to his job has led many on Wall Street to connect his untimely death to a prevailing culture that, they argue, prioritizes profits over employee well-being. This incident has reignited a longstanding debate over a bank's duty to protect the health and safety of its employees.

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First Published:11 May 2024, 11:16 AM IST
HomeNewsworldWall Street shaken by sudden death of 35-year-old Bank of America associate amidst toxic work culture claims

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