Boss Indifferent To My Suicidal Impulse, Says Stock Trader Who Lost Millions
A bad day at work can lead many workers to ponder their worth, but it was an extraordinary set of circumstances that led London stock trader Asif Mohamedali to, he says, approach his boss and say that he felt as if he needed to kill himself.
As the London Evening Standard reports, Mohamedali (pictured) managed Credit Suisse's European High Yields Credit desk in 2009 and was performing the work of three people when the then-ongoing credit crunch resulted in him losing 17 million pounds (about $27 million at today's exchange rate) in one day, according to testimony he gave this week at an industrial tribunal in London.
Mohamedali, 35, said he became dangerously stressed during the episode and sought support. But according to Mohamedali, his manager, Eraj Shirvani, was having none of it, and told the stock trader, "tough luck, dude," and to "pull yourself together" after he had revealed his suicidal impulse.
Mohamedali was fired some months later and is now fighting the discharge through the tribunal, claiming that he was unfairly dismissed and discriminated against for his mental disability.
In his testimony, Mohamedali said that he lost the 17 million pounds after a firm called Basell Europe collapsed in 2009, according to the Evening Standard report.
"This put me under further pressure as the stress at work rose and the pressure to perform increased," the trader said in a statement.
The tough financial environment and stressful work situation eventually led Mohamedali to seek help from a mental health clinic, where it was determined that he was severely depressed, according to Mohamedali's testimony. In October, however, he was fired for "serious misconduct."
For its part, Credit Suisse denied the allegations and alleged that Mohamedali failed to disclose the existence of two bank accounts and bought stock while selling the same stock as a Credit Suisse manager, accusations that the employee denied, according to the Daily Mail.
Further, Shivani told the hearing that Mohamedali never made his depression or suicidal thoughts known to his manager. If he had, Shivani said, he would have taken immediate action.
According to the Mail report, Shivani told that court that had Mohamedali expressed suicidal thoughts, "I would have acted far differently than that, I think we all would, because it is a human life at stake."
As the tribunal continues, Credit Suisse says it "is vigorously defending itself against the charges."
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. Follow David on Twitter. Email David at email@example.com. Add David to your Google+ circles.more...