“Greed is good”, or so says the old adage.
In the case of a 23 year old junior trader at London based electronic brokerage Marex Spectron, however, this was taken literally as he was subjected to an initiation ceremony by numerous baying colleagues which involved the binge-eating of eight hamburgers at his desk until he was extremely unwell.
Footage which was supplied to British tabloid newspaper, the Mail on Sunday, depicts the trader at his desk, struggling to consume eight quarter pounders with cheese, whilst his colleagues allegedly hurled loud, hooligan-like diatribes at him.
The trader, who was not named, was filmed with several boxes of McDonalds burgers piled up next to him. According to the report in the Mail on Sunday, an employee within Marex Spectron explained that the ‘game’ involving young traders had been initiated by senior brokers for the purposes of their own amusement.
After consuming a substantial amount of the fast food, the trader began to feel unwell and was photographed slumped over his desk. The exercise is timed, he has 60 minutes to consume the burgers, and the trader is seen attempting to regain his composure with his head in his hands whilst time elapses.
Betting on the likelihood of the completion of the dubious task was apparently a feature in this case, with a senior trader having shouted “Have a look at yourself. You have got three minutes to turn this round. It is £300, get on with it!”
As the young man becomes visibly ill, a female colleague gleefully exclaims: ‘Gonna chunder!’
Off-camera, the man filming the incident on a phone says with mock dismay: “I know what’s going to happen. I’m going to turn this off and he’s going to be sick and I’ll miss it.” As the young trader approached the completion of the task, one man points out: “I can only count seven boxes,” to which another replies: “Mate, you’re such a stickler.”
The man doing the filming then says: “Mate, he’s got two minutes left. He can easily nail another one.” Moments later, and struggling to finish the final burger, the 23-year-old lurches off his chair and is violently sick into a waste paper bin.
Despite his obvious distress, one colleague shouts out “Eat it” and there are cheers from members of staff despite others looking on uncomfortably. Some erupted in laughter as he buries his head in the bin and continues to vomit. One shouts out: ‘Oh my God. He’s chucked it all up. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. You can smell it.’
As the scenes of mayhem continue, computer screens displaying financial data from around the globe flicker in the background. At its luxury offices in Bishopsgate in East London, Marex Spectron offers energy and financial brokerage services.
Last night the rite of passage was condemned as evidence that the culture of excess in the City which politicians pledged to stamp out after the 2008 financial crash was still very much alive.
Former investment banker Philip Augar, author of The Death Of Gentlemanly Capitalism, said: “We thought this sort of thing had died out after the 1990s. It’s more Wolf Of Wall Street than the professional image to which the modern City aspires. Initiation rites are a form of bullying and have no role in the workplace.”
“They encourage the formation of cliques which are particularly dangerous in an industry where transparency is so important.’ Last night a spokesman for Marex Spectron said: “We are aware of this incident, which occurred over a year ago. The individuals involved have been spoken to and the matter has been addressed internally.”
“The behavior displayed here is not what we expect from our employees and we have made it very clear that we would take a recurrence extremely seriously.”
Video courtesy of the Mail on Sunday.