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Bank CEO: Careers are built in the office, jobs happen at home

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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Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Ch
    Chacha Noon
    1 July 2022

    What are the WFH arrangement in London banks these days?

  • Ke
    27 June 2022

    This is a very outdated view. Probably one of the reasons why talents go to tech companies.

    One could even say that a CEO is not doing his job if he can not tap into the full potential of people working from home.

  • pb
    25 June 2022

    What BS. If you are an extremely overpaid exec with daily limo service and catered meals in your huge office, sure, you come into the office. For actual, useful work, look at those employees working from home, where smelly, noisy so called coworkers don't constantly interrupt.

  • Ma
    23 June 2022

    What happened to the whole hybrid working model? I recall when people were voting what’s best wfh, office or hybrid, the latter came on top… 2/3 days in the office the rest wfh and that whole career/job thing is irrelevant.

  • No
    Noony mouse
    22 June 2022

    "noooooo you can't just have a remote job to fund your life and hobbies that you now actually have time for, you have to give all your time, energy and immortal soul to us so we can buy more yachts!!"

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