Following the death of 21-year-old Moritz Erhardt, the investment banking analyst who died last year nearing the end of a gruelling 7-week summer internship, banks are working to reform their policies related to the commonly exhaustive working habits of their employees.
The biggest banking names in the world have weighed in on this change, in the hopes of getting ahead of the public outcry that Moritz’s death ignited.
The types of reforms promised largely affect the structure of the junior investment banker work schedule. Some of the newly adopted policies include:
Limiting the number of weekends an analyst can work.
Working 6 or 7 days a week is common for many analysts, with a 110-hour week nothing out of the ordinary. However, that is set to change. One internal memo obtained from Bank of America detailed policy that would require employees to take a minimum of 4 weekend days off per month. Goldman Sachs also recently urged its analysts against regularly working weekends. Credit Suisse has gone a step further by not allowing junior workers in the bank’s US office from 6pm on Friday through to Sunday.
Increasing hiring to provide more employees per analyst workload.
Goldman Sachs is expected to increase hiring of analysts by 23% over their number of hires just two years ago. Bank of America also vows to hire more analysts to spread the work among more employees, and has created a position within Human Resources responsible for monitoring the workflow so as to not overwhelm junior analysts with overly burdensome workloads.
These steps have the potential of changing the entrenched culture among analysts vying for positions at the top banks. But for this to happen, such change must be endorsed wholeheartedly from those at the top of the largest firms in the world, and put into practice by analysts themselves.