Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman has a soulmate. It is Jefferies' CEO Rich Handler. Writing on Instagram, Handler says your approach to remote work in banking should partly depend upon what you want from a role.
"If you want a job, stay remote all the time and be efficient in a very limited way," said Handler yesterday. "If you want a career, engage with the rest of us in the office and use WFH only when smart..."
There's nothing wrong with working from home, added Gorman, but if you're an exponent of remote work you need to acknowledge the potential results of your choice. "It is your decision whether you want a job or a career," he added. "No judgement on which you pick, but don't be surprised or disappointed by certain outcomes."
Handler's comments come after James Gorman said in March that people who want to work from home are in "Jobland" while peope who come into the office are in "Careerland". Employees who work remotely are harder to train and less well-placed to build career skills, Gorman said.
Handler appears to concur. In a letter to Jefferies' staff in May, Handler said too, that returning to the office is good for mental health, and that Jefferies' empathetic senior people needed to return to the bank's offices to mentor, "mid-level and junior colleagues" who were "justifiably feeling abandoned."
His approach comes as finance CEOs like David Solomon at Goldman and Ken Griffin at Citadel have also espoused office returns. However, at Davos last month, Thomas Gottstein at Credit Suisse admitted that getting people back into Credit Suisse offices was an uphill struggle.
Speaking off the record, one senior banker tells us that junior staff are particularly keen to get back into the office "for their own good." However, he says a hardcore 10% of people appear to have espoused remote working forever.
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