December 5, 2023

Investment Banking

Let Your Investment Banking Do The Walking

Tragic death of 30-year-old RBC associate in New York

Michael Bloom, a 30-year-old associate in Royal Bank of Canada’s financial technology investment banking group, died last week.

Bloom, who only joined RBC in New York from Citi in May last year, is understood to have died in his sleep on Wednesday.

A graduate of Lafayette College, he previously spent six years in Citi’s commercial and corporate banking group, also in New York City.

As an RBC banker living with individuals working at bulge bracket banks, I am putting the same or more hours than my roommates. Working until 3-4am is the norm and we have zero leniency on showing up after 9am.

The cause of Bloom’s death is not yet clear. In a message sent by Jason Gurandiano, RBC’s head of US technology banking to, Bloom’s colleagues and seen by eFinancialCareers, Gurandiano said that it was “a very tough time” for everyone. “We will get through it together as a team and as a family.  If anyone is struggling or having a tough time, please feel free to reach out to me anytime,” he added.

In a statement, RBC said, “We are extremely shocked and saddened by the passing of Michael Bloom. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. We have shared the tragic news with Michael’s colleagues in a manner that is consistent with our culture of care and respect.”

In 2013, Bank of America intern Moritz Erhardt died following an epileptic seizure after seemingly working 72 hours without sleep. In March 2021, junior bankers at Goldman Sachs complained that their health was suffering as a result of 100 hour working weeks. It’s not clear whether long hours also contributed to Bloom’s death, but RBC is generally thought to have shorter working hours than rivals: Wall Street Oasis put the average across the Canadian bank at 73 hours per week last year, compared to 87.5 at Goldman Sachs.

RBC said: “In a demanding industry, we have fostered a workplace which prioritizes the wellbeing of our employees. This is backed up by a number of policies and the full support of our leaders.”

Bloom’s obituary describes him as “fun-spirited”, “genuine,” “thoughtful, generous, patient, and loyal,” and a person who could “make a mean ragu, build a beautiful campfire, and ignite infectious laughter.” He’s survived by his wife Madeleine, who works in private credit. 

Bloom’s family are asking for donations to his favorite charity, which provides soccer equipment to underprivileged Haitian children. $44k has been raised so far, including from his former colleagues. “Michael was a wonderful team member who was awesome to work with. He will be greatly missed,” says Matthew Thomas, the managing director of the fintech investment banking team at RBC alongside his donation of $500.

Citi’s corporate banking juniors have made their own group donation mourning Bloom’s death and saying they will never forget his ” infectious smile and laugh that would brighten the room even on the longest of work days.”

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