Ernst & Young employee found dead after after-hours drinks at IVY in Sydney: final hours revealed

In the tragic final hours of a young Ernst and Young employee who was found dead in her high-end Sydney office – after drinks went horribly wrong on Friday night

  • An EY employee is found dead in a Sydney office after having drinks after work
  • The police do not consider the 33-year-old’s death to be “suspicious” and suspect self-harm
  • Woman was spotted after midnight Saturday night during peak auditing season
  • Do you know more about this story? Email tips@dailymail.com
  • For confidential 24 hour support in Australia, call Lifeline on 13 11 14

A young employee who had been meeting with colleagues for work drinks at an upscale bar was tragically found dead just hours after returning to the office in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The 33-year-old was spotted at the Sydney headquarters of accounting firm Ernst & Young, where he sent shockwaves through the industry – now in the middle of peak accounting season, when some of the county’s savviest number crunchers scramble to meet deadlines for their high-profile clients .

Daily Mail Australia understand police suspect the woman took her own life and that the circumstances are “not suspicious” but inquiries are still ongoing to determine what happened after her last drink at the Ivy nightclub of the CBD happened on Friday.

The woman, who was found dead at Ernst and Young's Sydney central office, had spent two hours earlier that evening at the glitzy Sydney watering hole, the Ivy nightclub (pictured).

The woman, who was found dead at Ernst and Young’s Sydney central office, had spent two hours earlier that evening at the glitzy Sydney watering hole, the Ivy nightclub (pictured).

The woman, whose identity and position at the firm remain a mystery, dropped into the bar around 5:30pm on Friday to join colleagues at an event organized by the accounting giant’s Social Club.

She spent the next two hours there, making the short walk back to her office just before 7:30 p.m.

It was claimed she was escorted from the venue by staff because of excessive drinking, The Australian reported.

But CCTV, seen by investigators as she returned to 200 George Street in Circular Quay overlooking Sydney Harbour, does not indicate she was noticeably intoxicated.

It also remains unclear whether the employee returned to the skyscraper to continue working into the evening or whether she was there for another reason.

In recent years, Ernst & Young, now known by its trading name EY, has been criticized along with the other big accounting firms – KPMG, Deloitte and PWC – for their extreme working hours and competitive collaborative culture.

The woman returned to Ernst and Young's Sydney central office (pictured) around 7.30pm on Friday. Hours later she was found dead

The woman returned to Ernst and Young’s Sydney central office (pictured) around 7.30pm on Friday. Hours later she was found dead

Last year, chiefs of EY’s Hong Kong financial services team detailed their grueling “work protocol and peak-season expectations” in an email.

“Employees must start work at 9:30 a.m. and not finish before 11:30 p.m.,” the email said.

“I think midnight is common in high season – it depends on your own discipline and responsibility.

“For weekends, I expect at least one day where we spend the whole day (from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.) in the office.”

Daily Mail Australia is not claiming that EY was responsible for the worker’s tragic death anyway.

Police and ambulances were called to the Ernst and Young office at 12.20pm on Saturday, where they discovered the woman's body

Police and ambulances were called to the Ernst and Young office at 12.20pm on Saturday, where they discovered the woman’s body

The company’s management is now ready to act a “comprehensive and wide-ranging internal review that includes health and safety, security and social events related to our employees.”

David Larocca, EY CEO and Regional Managing Partner, said the company’s employees were being counseled about the tragedy.

“Our chief mental health officer will be part of an ongoing review and was instrumental over the weekend in providing ongoing advice and guidance,” he said.

“Counseling was offered to all employees and team members.”

EY is also assisting the police with their ongoing investigation while preparing a report for the coroner.

“Our hearts go out to the family and we have been in touch to offer our support and condolences,” Mr Larocca said.

For confidential 24 hour support in Australia, call Lifeline on 11/13/14.

Who are Ernst & Young?

Ernst & Young is one of the world’s largest and most renowned auditing and consulting firms with around 600 offices worldwide.

The firm, now known as EY, performs audits for some of the world’s largest companies and advises governments on collaborative risk, technology and human resources services.

The UK-headquartered company is worth well over $40 billion.

International customers include computers from Hewlett Packard, US telecommunications giant AT&T, Coca Cola, General Motors, Hilton Hotels and Lockheed Martin.

EY’s Australian clients include retail giant Wesfarmers, Telstra, and energy and mineral giants Newcrest Mining and Woodside Petroleum, as well as various government agencies.

The post-fiscal period ends on June 30th and is considered one of the peak times when large companies require audits.

Those working in the highly complex collaborative environment during this time are known to put in many hours.

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Bradford Betz

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