Investment banks prepare for office return

Kristi Blokhin /

Investment banks JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are preparing to bring staff back to the office this summer.

JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon has said the bank’s offices “will look just like” they did before the pandemic by the autumn, and said that working exclusively from home “doesn’t work for young people”.

“It doesn’t work for those who want to hustle. It doesn’t work for spontaneous idea generation. It doesn’t work for culture,” he told The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council.

He said that the organisation wants to have half of its US staff rotating through its offices by July. It also has offices in London, Bournemouth, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“We want people back to work and my view is that sometime in September, October it will look just like it did before,” he said. “And everyone is going to be happy with it, and yes, the commute, you know people don’t like commuting, but so what.”

This is despite comments made last year by JP Morgan chief operating officer and co-president Daniel Pinto who said the bank was looking at making a “rotational” part-home part-office model permanent.

Dimon’s comments echo statements made by Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon earlier this year. Solomon described remote working as an “aberration” and said it did not work for the organisation’s culture.

Goldman Sachs, which recently unveiled plans for a new office in Birmingham, has told workers in the US and UK that it wants them to return to offices in mid-June.

It said that UK employees should prepare to return to workplaces by 21 June, when the government expects to lift all Covid-19 restrictions, while US staff that had not already made plans to return to an office should do so by 14 June.

A message co-signed by Solomon, chief operating officer John Waldron and chief financial officer Stephen Scherr said: “While each community is at a different stage of managing through the pandemic, we continue to be encouraged by the rollout of vaccines in a number of jurisdictions, as well as by the effectiveness of the health and safety protocols we have put in place across Goldman Sachs campuses to protect our people.

“We know from experience that our culture of collaboration, innovation and apprenticeship thrives when our people come together, and we look forward to having more of our colleagues back in the office so that they can experience that once again on a regular basis.”

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