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Junior work-life rules ‘complete BS’: report

It’s been one of the biggest questions on Wall Street over the past month: would new work-life initiatives aimed at improving the lives of junior bankers really work, or are they just PR banter? A new report proclaims rather loudly that it’s the latter.

Fox Business, citing several unnamed first-year investment bankers, says that almost nothing has changed, despite specific guidelines issued by most every big bank that require junior staffers to take (a portion) of their weekends back. Many have stopped working on Saturdays, as the rules dictate, but are instead coming in to the office on Sundays and are putting in more hours during the traditional work week.

Moreover, the exemptions that were built into the rules are reportedly being exercised consistently. If junior bankers are working on a live deal or get permission from their boss to work on Saturday, all bets are off. Both loopholes have been utilized quite often, says Fox.  Plus, the new rules don’t cover all employees, just associates and analysts within the investment banking divisions. Young sales and trading employees have apparently not been given any relief.

As we said previously, having rigid guidelines on work hours leaves open the possibility that the office would be short-staffed at a critical time or, the much likelier scenario, that the rules would be completely ignored. Again, it seems the latter has come true.

Hopefully other banks will end up following the lead of J.P. Morgan and just hire more people. The only real way of having bankers spend less time in the office is by having more of them to complete the work.

Resume Cheat Sheet (eFinancialCareers)

We’ve all been there before. You’re re-writing or adding to your resume and look down and realize that you’ve used the same action verb in five consecutive sentences. Wouldn’t it be easier if there was just a cheat sheet of useful resume terms? Now there is.

U.S. Bankers Take M&A Cash Crown (Bloomberg)

Senior M&A bankers in the U.S. earn well more than their European and Asian colleagues. The average annual pay for managing directors in New York is over $1 million, while London and Hong Kong M&A bankers earn, on average, $880,000 and $590,000 a year, respectively.

NYC is the Place to Be (eFinancialCareers)

“Two or three years ago, everyone was in agreement that emerging markets were where the growth was going to be and that was where banks were hiring. That’s no longer the case. Now all the noise is around the U.S.”

Rather Short Tenure (WSJ)

J.P. Morgan commodities chief Blythe Masters stepped down from the advisory panel to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission just one day after her appointment was announced. Masters evidently misjudged the workload associated with selling off the bank’s physical commodities business and wouldn’t have time for the board.

Cash Cap (Bloomberg)

Barclays is capping the cash portion of investment banker bonuses at $229,400, roughly 24% below last year’s level. Managing directors will be paid in three installments.

BOM Hiring and Promoting (Reuters)

Bank of Montreal has named former BofA executive Lyle Wilpon as its new head of U.S. mergers and acquisitions. The Canadian bank also made another half-dozen other people moves aimed at improving its capital markets unit.

Arrested (Dealbook)

Brokerage firm WJB Capital Group had to lay off all of its employees in 2012 after failing to raise capital. It turns out, at least according to an arrest warrant, the firm’s owner and two executives were spending investor money on themselves.

Buzz Around the Office

More Than a Typo (Gawker)

Bank of America sent out a credit card offer to a freelance journalist named Lisa McIntire. Actually they sent it to her mother’s house. The name on the envelope and letter read “Lisa is a slut McIntire.” She has yet to accept the offer.

Quote of the Day: “Their bosses had to go through the intense hours when they were starting out, so they want this next group of employees to go through it as well.” – a Citigroup employee on the work/life balance issue on Wall Street.

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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