tHE sUNDAY TIMES
Mental health and burnout have always been an issue [in banking]. Nearly 20 years ago Chris McGale was a managing director at the investment bank Merrill Lync. He was one of the biggest revenue generators in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, but he wasn't happy. He "hated going to work". He had a loveling wife and daughter. "a million-dollar salary and a million-dollar home But I had burnt out. I had become a person I didn't want to be. Even I didn't like me." He was headhunted by a firm that looked for certain traits in prospective employees, such as divorced or deceased parents, death of a sibling and near-death experiences, because, McGale believes, such experiences were thought to engender an "innate hunger for success". He ticked every box and was offered a "golden hello" contract that was potentially worth £3.5 million. In 2002 he quit Merrill Lynch and he has recently written a memoir, The Million Dollar Irishman. "I was doing too much of what I called 'the too muches' - a cycle of long days, late nights, booze, gambling, and the need to win."