Leo Lukenas III
(Screenshot: Leo Lukenas III LinkedIn)

Leo Lukenas III, a former Green Beret, passed away last Thursday in New York City from "acute coronary artery thrombus," a condition that results in the buildup of a blood clot inside a cardiac blood vessel.

At the time of his death, at just 35 years old, Lukenas was one year into a demanding career in investment banking at Bank of America, where employees report working 100-hour work weeks and feeling depleted.

In a bid to raise one million dollars, charity organisation 51 Vets in Honour has since launched a fundraising page.

The non-profit organisation described the ex-US Special Forces veteran: "Leo Lukenas was a son, brother, husband, Green Beret, and most importantly, a father."

"He spent over a decade in Army Special Operations, deploying multiple times with 1st Special Forces Group," the page added. "Leo was dedicated to everything he did, never settling for good enough. He always set an example and held himself to the highest standards, prioritising the team and mission success over himself. With the heart of a lion, Leo always fought to defend what was right."

"Leo transitioned out of the military to pursue new opportunities for his family. In remembrance of Leo, it's our duty to support his family just like he would have done for all of us."

The father of two former Special Forces soldiers switched to banking last summer to "pursue[ing] fresh chances for his family," according to those close to him.

It has been stated that the Brooklyn native was recently employed on UMB's $2 billion takeover of Heartland Financial USA, Inc.

Although "natural causes" were officially given for his death, Wall Street workers have filed claims, alleging that working conditions in the industry are unjust, especially when addressing a significant issue.

Both current and former investment bankers informed Business Insider that Lukena's passing had caused anxiety at BoA, especially among the junior staff.

One junior banker at BoA responded to Lukenas' death: "I think what we all would want is some acknowledgement about what happened, and at least not completely dismiss the fact that it could have been work-related."

"And to at least start having those conversations about how they can make junior bankers work life much better because it's been long overdue. And I believe that, if anything, it's gotten worse," they added.

Christopher Perkins, a former banker and co-founder of Veterans on Wall Street, has since called for an investigation into Lukenas' death.

In a post on LinkedIn, Perkins announced: "We are mobilising the veterans' community to assist his family."

"We are also watching you, Bank of America, and expect a transparent third-party investigation, absolute accountability, and full support from his family," he warned.

One ex-BoA banker told BI that he left the company last year during a period where he frequently put in 100-hour work weeks without getting assistance for burnout or tiredness.

The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "It got to a point where I would wake up and immediately feel like I needed to throw up... My mental health was really bad. I felt very unsupported by my team."

Following Lukenas's passing, conversations regarding the potential for work-from-home options and a reduction in hours were also reported by a new BoA banker.

When contacted last week, a Bank of America representative declined to comment.

While the bank has refused to comment on the loss, BoA has said it focuses on providing as much help as possible to the bereaved family and staff. The prestigious bank has also stated that it will cover employee costs related to the late banker's funeral.

The family was devastated by the tragedy, Lukenas' stepmother told DailyMail.com.

With a heavy heart, Les, Lukena's brother, wrote on LinkedIn: "It is with profound sorrow that I share the passing of my identical twin brother. Leo was a remarkable individual whose kindness, strength, and spirit touched the lives of everyone he met."

"I am grateful for the 35 years we spent together, side by side, from playing junior golf to earning our Green Berets. I hope his memory will forever be cherished, and his legacy will continue to inspire."