Tragedy of 29 year-old associate on $500k. Where no one wants to work now
If you work for M&A boutique Moelis & Co. in London, our research suggests you can expect to earn a comfortable six figure sum. Average compensation for the 91 staff and 17 partners is around $310k per head. If you work for Moelis on Wall Street, you can seemingly earn even more. But do you really want to?
Writing in the New York Times, author and ex-J.P. Morgan managing director William Cohan has re-examined the problem of junior bankers' working hours through prism of ex-Moelis associate, Thomas Hughes.
From a career perspective, Hughes had it all. He graduated in 2009 and worked for Duff & Phelps, UBS and Citigroup before moving to Moelis &Co. as an associate in 2014 aged 29. In his first year at the firm, Hughes was paid a $100k salary and a $400k bonus. "My jaw dropped," says Hughes' father.
By June 2015, however, Hughes was dead. He'd missed spending Easter with his family (he was working). He'd broken up with his girlfriend (partly due to his long hours). A holiday in Bermuda had been spent (working) in his hotel room, and an existing problem with cocaine had - his father argues - been exaggerated by use of the drug to re-energize after working long hours. In late May, Hughes jumped from his 24th floor rented apartment in Manhattan.
Before his death, Hughes' mother called him to wake him up every morning for work. “I would question how long he would need to keep on doing this, but he said: ‘I’m 29. This is what you do when you’re 29,’" his mother says. She adds that although Hughes was working too hard, he found his work "rewarding and stimulating" and that his death was, "a tragedy that defies any kind of explanation."
Separately, search firm Options Group has conducted some research suggesting that credit salespeople and traders at VP level and above have read the writing on the wall. 43% of them reportedly want to do something else. This compares to just 23% of people who want to escape rates sales and trading.
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