In a heartbreaking essay posted on Medium, the father of a deceased Goldman Sachs analyst writes about how his son was dealing with stress at work before his untimely death this spring.
He was from New Delhi, India. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He previously did summer internship at Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.
Sarvshreshth began working at Goldman in the fall of 2014
He was 22 when he died this April.
Sarvshreshth’s father Sunil published his essay entitled “A Son Never Dies” on May 17th, a month after his death. [via Dealbook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin] We’ve included excerpts below with added emphasis.
Sunil said that his son complained about the intense hours early on in his career, but claimed he could handle it.
Now that he was working he could come to Pleasanton only on weekends. Even when he came, he was tired, and sleepy. ‘Papa, I do not get enough sleep. I work twenty hours at a stretch.’ During certain weeks, he was working on weekends too.
I protested. ‘Son you will ruin your health,’ I complained. He would say, ‘Come on Papa, I am young and strong. Investment banking is hard work.’
According to Sunil, the complaints about the pressure at work picked up again after the New Year.
From mid-January, he started complaining.’ This job is not for me. Too much work and too little time. I want to come back home.’
As probably, any parent would react, we counselled him to keep going, as such difficult phases were inevitable in a high pressure new job. ‘Sonny, all are of your age, young and ambitious, keep going,’ I would say.
In late March, his son quit.
In third week of March 2015, he submitted his resignation, without consulting us, and called us. My first sentence to him was, ‘ Sonny I did not want you to quit, but now since, you have done so, we are with you. Come back home’. He sounded sad and disturbed, ‘Papa, it will take some time to exit. HR will close in some time.’ I asked, ‘what you want to do now?’ ‘Well, I will rejuvenate myself, eat home cooked food, walk and go to gym, and finally work with and expand our school,’ he replied.
Not something I wanted him to do, at this stage of his career. I desired, that he should complete his one year at Goldman Sachs, learn something about corporate life and then decide.
Soon after, though, Gupta rejoined Goldman. (Sources told Dealbook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin that Gupta reached out to Goldman to return to his job. The young banker was also offered counseling services at work.)
Destiny was marking its time for the family. We had no clue that we were going to be hit by a tsunami, which would uproot our lives, never to be rooted again. By a quirk of fate, he was asked by his company, to reconsider his resignation and under pressure from me, he rejoined.
Now, I, who had nurtured him, carved him, possessed him, took the fatal decision for him. Why did I ask him to continue? Why didn’t I ask him to come back? What if I had not forced him to continue? What if his company had not given him the window to reconsider his resignation?
These painful questions will never be answered. There is no power in this universe which can undo the tragedy that hit us.
Poor son, he re-joined and did his best to come to terms with hard, continuous work, no breaks, no sleep and no respite.
A few weeks later, his son called and said that he was not getting any sleep and had a lot of work to finish.
April, 16, 2015, 3.10 pm, India time. That is,+ 12.30 hours, California time. He calls us and says, ‘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.’
I got furious. ‘Take fifteen days leave and come home’, I said. He quipped ‘they will not allow’. I said, ‘tell them to consider this as your resignation letter.’
Finally, he agreed to complete his work in about an hour, go to his apartment which was half a mile from his office block and return in the morning.
Soon after, Sunil’s was found dead.
The dawn never came in our lives, my sonny boy, never reached his apartment.
A monster, a devil in his giant motor vehicle, sniffed the life out of him.
My son, whose bones, blood and flesh were my very own, was victim of a cruel, momentary lapse of an individual, who too, is surely somebody’s son.
The San Fransisco police may finally trace him, the law may give him the severest of punishments, but, who will give me my son back?
The details surrounding a Goldman Sachs’ analyst’s death remain murky, though.
According to Dealbook’s Sorkin, the young bank analyst’s body was found in a parking lot by his apartment building. It’s believed that he may have fallen from his building, according to the Dealbook report. What’s more is the medical examiner’s office hasn’t released a cause of death at this time.
In a statement, Goldman said, “We 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.”
Stress for young bankers has come under scrutiny in the last two years. This conversation really began back in August 2013 when Bank of America intern Mortiz Erhardt passed away after reportedly working consecutive all-nighters at the bank’s London office.
There’ve also been a spate of suicides and unexpected deaths among financial-services employees. Last week, a 29-year-old banker from Moelis & Co. died after leaping from his luxury apartment building in downtown Manhattan.
Banks have been trying to do more to improve the lifestyles of their employees, especially the younger ones. A handful of firms have implemented policies where junior bankers are supposed to unplug on weekends, even from email.
The biggest stressors in the job however, seem to remain.