If it feels like there’s been a lot of attrition lately, you’re not alone. It’s like there’s a new top banker or trader switching jobs, daily. Some people just want a new opportunity. But in part, there’s a frustration with corporations asking staff to come back too soon.
“There are people who don’t want to go back full-time — and don’t want to say it to their employer,” said Jeanne Branthover, global leader of financial services at search firm DHR International. “That’s going to shake out in the fall. Candidates are not going to say they’re not coming back until they secure their next job.”
Bloomberg’s Anders Melin and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou spoke to people across industries who were straight-up quitting their jobs when they were asked to come back in person. A LinkedIn executive told me in March that there have been record levels of employee burnout across companies, and we can expect a “fair amount of either employee attrition” because of it. Beyond that, the words “compassion,” “empathy” and “flexibility” have become the new parlance of the C-suite.
Top investment bankers are working out the calculus for their own firms.
“We’re not in the business of FaceTime,” Citigroup’s Tyler Dickson, who co-leads the investment banking business, told me in an exclusive television interview while also expressing the need for flexibility. His bankers join many others who are back on the road to meet clients. “We’re engaging more directly with clients now that vaccines are flowing and people are feeling that it’s safer to get together in an appropriate way.”
Perella Weinberg Partners is telling dealmakers that a five-day, in-office work week might not be a fixture of the future. “We don’t need to do all our work together in the office all the time, but we do need to do some of our work together in the office some of the time,” Co-President Andrew Bednar said in a memo to staff this week obtained by Bloomberg.
“We are planning for the future of work longer term, not simply a return to what we did pre-pandemic,” he wrote.
Lazard CEO Ken Jacobs says he worries about younger bankers in a remote environment. “This has been an extraordinarily productive year, we haven’t really missed much as a result of being out of the office,” Jacobs told me in an exclusive television interview. “Longer term, it has big impacts on the ability to train, and recruit and retain the best of our people.”
Meanwhile DHR’s Branthover explained that an elevated rate of mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructurings leaves firms across the financial industry in need of fresh talent.
“If you’re going to change jobs, there’s probably never been a better market for it,” she said. “There’s a skill-set correction, and a need for leadership that’s going to move the needle.”
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