Economy

Working from home ‘hasn’t worked’, Wall Street executives tell Davos summit

Working from home ‘hasn’t worked’, Wall Street executives tell Davos summit – as Citigroup chief says slackers should be pulled back to office until productivity improves

  • Jane Fraser said it was important for staff to work together
  • Other Wall Street executives have expressed frustration with staff working from home
  • Ms Fraser is more open to ideas about flexible working than other bank chiefs
  • But at the World Economic Forum in Davos, she said a line had to be drawn
  • BlackRock’s Larry Fink Simply Said ‘Remote Work Hasn’t Worked’

The UK boss of Wall Street banking giant Citigroup warned yesterday that slackers who work from home will be drawn back into the office for coaching.

Jane Fraser said it was important for employees to collaborate and learn from ‘eccentrics’ in the workplace as she did.

Other Wall Street executives have expressed frustration staff continue to stay away since the pandemicwhere one says that the practice ‘hasn’t worked’.

Fraser has been more open to the idea of ​​flexible working than other New York bank chiefs, but she made it clear that a line had to be drawn.

Working from home ‘hasn’t worked’, Wall Street executives tell Davos summit

Jane Fraser said it was important for employees to collaborate and learn from ‘eccentrics’ in the workplace, as she did.

Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, was more blunt when he spoke at the same event hosted by Bloomberg

Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, was more blunt when he spoke at the same event hosted by Bloomberg

She told an event at the World Economic Forum in Davos: ‘I think there is an important balance here.

‘We can see how productive someone is or isn’t. If they’re not productive, we bring them back to the office or back to the site and we give them the coaching they need until they get their productivity back up.’

Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, was more blunt when he spoke at the same event hosted by Bloomberg.

He said: ‘Remote work hasn’t worked.’

Citi is based in New York but has offices around the world, including a large presence in London, where it employs more than 6,000 people.

Morgan Stanley chairman James Gorman told staff in 2021 that if they wanted to earn New York salaries, they must work in the city.

Fraser has tended to take a less heavy-handed approach and last month the bank said most staff could work anywhere for the last two weeks of the year.

Last year, Citi even opened a hub in Malaga, hiring 30 junior staff from around the world to be based there with the aim of offering a better work-life balance.

Fraser said flexible working during the pandemic had helped ‘attract and retain and get the best out of our talent’.

She said the bank wanted to meet the needs of employees to ensure “that they can deliver excellence to customers and to the job”.

all street managers have expressed frustration that staff have continued to stay away since the pandemic, with one saying the practice ¿hasn't worked¿

all street bosses have expressed frustration that staff have continued to stay away since the pandemic, with one saying the practice ‘hasn’t worked’

But she added: ‘We learned that we want people to collaborate and they collaborate better together. The apprenticeship is really important.

‘Growing up I learned the hard way by watching and learning from some eccentric or plump characters, but it taught me… that feedback is important and it happens when you tend to be together – easier .

‘We have tried to send several of our juniors home at the end of the day so they can work from there.’

The Scottish-born financier became the first woman to lead a Wall Street back when she took over as CEO of Citi in 2021.

She has worked for the American giant since 2004. M

s Fraser was paid £18m for her first year in the role – although that was well below the level of pay enjoyed by her counterparts at other US banks, including Goldman Sachs.

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