A brain-damaged associate is a warning sign for the Big 4’s drinking culture

If you were on vacation in August, you may have missed one of the most disturbing stories of the summer. – The one about Michael Brockie, PWC’s audit manager, now 28, who suffered a horrific head injury three years ago after attending a “pub-golf” outing organized by his employer .

Brockie, who says he has “persistent cognitive symptoms” after losing a significant part of his brain to the injury, has filed a lawsuit against PWC. He says his manager “failed to take reasonable precautions for the safety of his colleagues”. In an emailed invitation to the event sent from his work address, Brockie’s manager said there was “very strong pressure” to attend. Participation involved visiting nine bars or clubs and having drinks in as few bites as possible to get a low “score”. ”

Brockie was later found lying on the street and placed in an induced coma. “Doctors and police came to the conclusion that I fell and didn’t use my hands to break the fall, so I ended up banging my head on the ground. The next thing I know remember, it was four weeks later,” he said eight months. after the event.

Following Brockie’s accident, PWC ceased to operate “pub golf”, which had been an annual fixture for the previous seven years. However, it’s not the only Big Four company where drinking is common: In August, a senior auditor at EY in Sydney died after falling from an office window after a night out with colleagues. A KPMG junior in London says drinking is how his British colleagues bond after work.

Alcohol abuse is perhaps less of an issue among the new generation of junior bankers, many of whom simply don’t have time to get drunk during the work week. It should also be noted that in banking as in finance, a growing number of juniors are abstinent. “My team doesn’t like to drink a lot,” said an analyst at Deutsche Bank in London. “There are only occasional team drinks here and there.”

Afshan Taranum, a former member of KPMG’s internal audit team, said she never drank and did not feel pressured to drink while working for the Big Four. “It’s usually up to the individual to choose whether or not to drink,” she adds. “It’s a world of grown-ups.”

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