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Leo Lukenas donors lament their own 100 hour weeks in banking

It's been over a week now since the tragedy of Leo Lukenas sparked significant concerns regarding the workload and hours expected of junior bankers, despite Bank of America denying allegations he worked 120 hour weeks. While a fundraiser for Lukenas' family has raised over $330k, many of its donors with links to banking have expressed concern and outrage over the culture at Wall Street.

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"I am a FIG (Financial Institutions Group) junior banker as well," said one donor, "I feel it could happen to any of us." Another junior FIG banker working long hours "felt a link to him." One donor said that they were an analyst at a European bank from 2015 to 2020 and  "took turns with my fellow analysts sleeping in the supply closet" while working 100+ hour weeks. They said they developed a concussion as a result of it.

It's not just bankers themselves expressing concern; their parents are too. One donor of over $1k said "I have a 23 year old son who's a junior first year associate in NYC like Leo and works 120-140 hours a week." They said they "detest the work culture that preys on youngsters."

The case is also inspiring more senior bankers to change. One mid-level VP said they would make addressing these issues their "top priority going forward."

On forum site Wall Street Oasis, one Bank of America associate said 100-hour weeks are "part of the job, unfortunately" but different teams handle it in different ways. This associate said their team would more actively monitor staff, and give them days off when they're "crushed", which "could have made all the difference in this situation."

A number of donors were people who claimed to have worked with Lukenas, but these people made no mention of his working hours. One said Lukenas "sat behind [him] at work" and would constantly tell stories about his family and kids. Another Mandarin-speaking colleague said he would always greet him in Chinese, having learned it in the army, and liked to talk about his Chinese name, "Golden Lion."

Bank of America staff were allegedly told Lukenas' timesheets didn't reflect the hours he was alleged to have worked, and a BofA spokesperson has said the bank's records do not indicate that he did. Coronors said Lukenas died of natural causes, after a clot formed inside a blood vessel of the heart. Bank of America told Business Insider: "We are very saddened by the loss of our teammate. We continue to focus on doing whatever we can to support the family and our team, especially those who worked closely with him."

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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