The London papers today are reporting on the death of Anjool “Jools” Malde, a 24-year-old stockbroker at Deutsche Bank who committed suicide on Sunday. He was due to celebrate his 25th birthday tonight at a champagne bar in Soho. Handsome and successful, Jools had allegedly purchased “a £300,000 penthouse in Mijas on the Costa del Sol.”
The manner of his death, widely reported, is best summed up by his devastated parents:
“Apparently he donned a Hugo Boss suit with matching designer accessories, treated himself to a glass of champagne at the much frequented, upmarket City restaurant Coq d’Argent, and jumped from an eighth-floor rooftop. Style meant everything to him and that’s how he chose his exit.”
Jools was supposedly asked to leave work early on Friday while his company looked into “an inquiry into an IT matter,” although the bank denies that he was suspended:
The Independent reports a close friend of Malde saying he had heard the stockbroker was about to be suspended by Deutsche Bank. “I know for certain that the bank deleted his Bloomberg account, which was not a good sign,” said the friend. This would have denied him access to the financial markets and made it difficult to communicate with other bankers.
There have not been further details reported as of yet as to what inquires were being pursued. In a 2005 article from the BBC in which he was interviewed about student debt, Jools described how he handled his finance while at university:
Anjool, from Yarm-on-Tees, near Middlesbrough, is proud that he has been independent from his mother, an arts teacher, and his father, a psychologist.
“I wanted to be independent and not be reliant on my parents,” he says.
“If I can survive without a penny from my parents, instead of taking out a student loan and doing vacation work, others should at least be able to leave without an overdraft.”
His evident pride in his self-reliance was likely a defining feature of his personality. The Mail on Sunday reports:
Tipped to become the next big British-Asian entrepreneur, he was co-founder of the AlphaParties firm which organises social events in Mayfair and Kensington for young professionals, students and financial interns.
On his personal website he described his work status-as ‘Living the Dream’.
A friend said Mr Malde would have been ‘mortified’ at the idea of being in any trouble at work and would find setbacks hard to deal with as he was not used to them.
‘He’d always been a high-flyer and nothing had ever got in his way. He was also very concerned with keeping up appearances and how he seemed to other people.
‘He was a good guy who didn’t drink too much, didn’t take drugs but worked damned hard and probably pushed himself too hard. ‘He never slept and lived on Red Bull.’
Driven, intelligent, and likely arrogant, it would seem that Jools put great stock in his fiscal and social successes, which were considerable. How tragic that he was ill-equipped to handle the stumbling blocks attendant to those successes, as far as one can speculate. What’s so gripping about Jools’ story, in addition to the parts we the public write for ourselves, is the fantastical flair of his departure. Only a true showman, someone with an understanding of drama and the impact of a spectacle, would choose to end his life by donning a designer suit before plunging 80 feet to his death, champagne in hand, from the terrace of a chic restaurant. He surely knew that this decision would catapult him from a third-page notation to front-page news, and that the British public would naturally clamor for more information about his life and death, and seek out more pictures of his handsome face in better times.
But how truly troubled he must have been to end his life before a lavishly-planned and anticipated birthday celebration, how frightened and lonely he must have felt. While his friends and family mourn, I am saddened that this young man believed this was the best choice in the face of difficulties. Obviously bright and sophisticated, he surely had many more successes to come. But I do walk away with another thought, and one of which I imagine Jools would approve: Damn, the boy had flair.