22 yr. old Goldman Sachs’ analyst’s death stirs debate on strenuous work schedules

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Officials in San Fransisco are probing the mysterious death of young Indian analyst with Goldman Sachs who had been complaining to his father of long and strenuous routine, hours before his body was found in a car park next to his apartment. The authorities have said they believe Sarvshreshth Gupta killed himself after working through the night and struggling to match the demands he felt under.

Sarvshreshth Gupta, a 22 year old Indian had been working at Goldman Sachs for almost a year as a media/tech/telecom analyst in the San Fransisco office of Goldman Sachs. An alumnus of Delhi Public School R.K. Puram and graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has expressed his distress earlier to his father saying,

“This job is not for me. Too much work and too little time.”

Sunil Gupta wrote about his anguish in a blogpost narrating Sav’s mental state and his inability to cope up. The user account has now been deleted.

After the New York Times broke this story on Tuesday, there is a revitalisation of interest into the hectic schedule of bankers and analysts at Wall Street.

A month before his death, Sarvshreshth aka Sav had resigned from the job protesting increased workload leaving him with no time for other pursuits. However, he reconsidered the job on requests from his father, Sunil Gupta.

Goldman employees said he asked for his job back, writes Andrew Ross Sorkin in Dealbook. When he returned, he was put on a reduced schedule and met with Goldman’s employee assistance counsellors about dealing with stress and balancing work and life.

But Gupta soon found his schedule getting as busy as before as the firm’s deal business expanded. He was routinely pulling all-nighters and “100 hours week” had become the order of the day.

A month later, he called up his parents saying,

“It is too much. I have not slept for two days, have a client meeting tomorrow morning, have to complete a presentation, my VP is annoyed and I am working alone in my office.”

Sunil asked him to apply for leave and fly to India. And told him that if his leave was not sanctioned, “Tell them to consider this as your resignation letter.”

Goldman Sachs however has not yet responded publicly to claims that Mr Gupta was working such long hours, something that would have required him to spend 14 hours a day, every day of the week, had he kept such a routine.

 “We are saddened by Sav’s death and feel deeply for his family. We hope that people will respect the family’s expressed desire for privacy during this difficult time,” is the official Goldman statement.

Stress on young bankers has come under the spotlight for some time now against the backdrop of a series of suicides and untimely deaths of people working in the fast-paced financial services sector. Bank have taken note of the same and thus have sought to implement policies relieving the employees of the stress. Their efficacy, remains a question.

 

 

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