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Working from home ‘has not worked’, Wall Street bosses tell Davos summit

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Working from home ‘has not worked’, Wall Street bosses tell Davos summit – as British chief of Citigroup says slackers should be hauled back into the office until their productivity improves

  • Jane Fraser said that it was important for employees to collaborate 
  • Other Wall Street bosses have expressed frustration at staff working from home
  • Ms Fraser is more open to idea of flexible working than other banking bosses
  • But, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, she said a line had to be drawn
  • Larry Fink, of  BlackRock, simply said that ‘remote working has not worked’

The British boss of Wall Street banking giant Citigroup yesterday warned that slackers working from home will be hauled back to the office for coaching.

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

Other Wall Street bosses have expressed frustration at staff continuing to stay away since the pandemic, with one saying the practice ‘has not worked’.

Ms Fraser has been more open to the idea of flexible working than other New York banking bosses, but she made clear that a line had to be drawn.

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

Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, the world¿s biggest asset manager, was more forthright when he spoke at the same event, hosted by Bloomberg

Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, was more forthright when he spoke at the same event, hosted by Bloomberg

She told an event at the World Economic Forum in Davos: ‘I believe that there’s an important balance here.

‘We can see how productive someone is or isn’t. If they’re not being 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 again.’

Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, was more forthright when he spoke at the same event, hosted by Bloomberg. 

He said: ‘Remote working has not worked.’ 

Citi is based in New York but has offices across 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 wages they must work in the city.

Ms Fraser has tended to take a less hardline approach and last month the bank said most employees could work from anywhere for the final 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.

Ms Fraser said that 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 need of employees to ensure ‘that they can deliver excellence to clients and to the job’.

all Street bosses have expressed frustration at staff continuing to stay away since the pandemic, with one saying the practice ¿has not worked¿

all Street bosses have expressed frustration at staff continuing to stay away since the pandemic, with one saying the practice ‘has not worked’

But she added: ‘We learnt that we do want people collaborating and they collaborate better together. Apprenticeship is really important.

‘When I grew up I learnt the hard way by watching and learning from certainly some eccentric or voluble characters but that taught me… that feedback’s important and it does happen when you tend to be together – more readily.

‘We’ve been trying to send more 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 chief executive of Citi in 2021. 

She has worked for the US giant since 2004. M

s Fraser was paid £18million for her first year in the role – though that was well below the pay levels enjoyed by her counterparts at other US banks including Goldman Sachs.

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