A young student who died after working ‘crazy hours’ as an intern at a top investment bank was days from being offered a full-time job at the company, it was claimed today.
German student Moritz Erhardt collapsed in the shower of his student halls in east London just days before completing a gruelling internship at Bank of America Merrill Lynch International investment bank division.
Friends of the 21-year-old, who had recently completed a study abroad programme at the University of Michigan, claimed he had been forced to work through the night eight times in a two week period in an effort to secure long term work with the firm.
A source told The Sunday Times he was about to be offered a £45,000 analyst job at the bank starting after he graduated from university next year.
The source said: ‘He was one of the best interns. They hadn’t made him the offer yet because they didn’t get that far but it was going to happen.’
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said on Friday that it will be reviewing working conditions of its employees, particularly those of junior staffers, after the death of Erhardt.
His emails and swipe card will be analysed to discover what times he entered the company’s building near St Paul’s Cathedral in the City.
It is believed the student regularly left the office at 5am only to return to the flat to have a shower and change his clothes before returning to work.
CCTV evidence shows him returning to his flat just after 5am on the day he died.
When he did not show up for work, another intern who lived in the same flat, called the building managers who found Erhardt’s body in the shower at about 8.30pm on August 15.
It is believed he may have had an epileptic fit possible caused from exhaustion.
In an online portfolio Mr Erhadt told prospective employers that his upbringing taught him to always be driven to be good at everything.
He wrote: ‘I have grown up in family that expected me, in whatever respect, to excel in life.
‘Therefore I have become highly competitive and ambitious nature from early on.
‘Already during my times in elementary school I began playing soccer as well as tennis, I engaged in track and field athletics, and I started ski racing.
‘Sometimes I had a tendency to be over ambitious, which resulted in severe injuries.
‘With respect to my performance in school, I was striving for excellence and trying to be the best all the time.’
Reflecting on his intensive approach to his education he added: ‘Over the last year, I have learned that complacency implies stagnancy.’
The profile also shows that prior to his seven week internship at Merrill Lynch, he had also completed placements at KPMG Consulting, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank’s corporate finance division.
Mr Erhadt had studied business administration as an exchange student at the University of Michigan
before attending WHU Otto Beisheim School of Managment in Vallendar, Germany.
A representative for the Otto Beissheim School of Management business college where Mr
Ergardt studied and from where he was due to graduate next year, called him ‘a wonderful person.’
Head of PR Peter Augstin said: ‘We are all deeply shocked. He was a wonderful person and a
dedicated student. He will be sadly missed. We are still trying to come to terms with his death.’
Paid interns at the bank normally earn £45,000 ($70,550) a year pro rata – around £2,700 ($4,200)
Many banks are known to encourage their young students to work late into the night and in the past
there have been claims those keen to impress have put in long hours with very little sleep.
Mr Erhardt had been living in the Claredale House student accommodation flats in Bethnal Green, east London. The apartments are rented out to hundreds of interns during the summer months.
A friend from one of Mr Erhardt’s classes said that he was such a workaholic that he would turn in
assignments early because he ‘wanted to be the best.’
A statement from BAML said: ‘We are deeply shocked and saddened by the news of Moritz Erhardt’s
‘He was popular amongst his peers and was a highly diligent intern at our company with a promising
‘Our first thoughts are with his family and we send our condolences to them at this difficult time.’