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JPMorgan executive on junior banker working hours: "12 hour days, six days a week"

Yesterday was JPMorgan's annual investor day. Amidst the comments on hiring and cautionary statements about geopolitical risk, the bank acknowledged the latest concerns about junior bankers' working hours after the deaths of two juniors at Bank of America. While no firm link in either case has been made to working hours, the unexpected deaths have focused attention on unhealthy lifestyles across the industry.

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"There is nothing, nothing that is more important than the health and well-being of our employees, and we're aware of those stories and they are tragic and incredibly sad," said Jennifer Piepszak, co-CEO of JPMorgan's commercial and investment bank. 

However, while Piepszak expressed concern yesterday about juniors' working conditions, some are recalling comments three years ago by Mary Callahan Erdoes, J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management CEO, which weren't so favorable.

Speaking to David Rubenstein, co-founder of private equity firm Carlyle Group in 2021, Callahan Erdoes, said that if 10,000 hours is what it takes to master something, then a junior banker working eight hours a day, five days a week, will take around five years to have "base level mastery" in their area. By comparison, she said that on Wall Street, it's "more like 12-hour days six days a week." In this way, it's only two and a half years before juniors become "mastered."

Callahan Erdoes observed that JPMorgan's own training program lasts between two and three years and is "pretty fast." After becoming "masters", trainees can "join a team." But the training is intense. "It's a constant education, each and every day," she added. 

Callahan Erdoes' comments were in relation to the asset and wealth management division rather than the investment bank, where hours are usually longest.  She's not the only senior banker with a history of transparency about hours in banking on YouTube. Goldman Sachs managing director Jim Donovan has appeared in his own videos invoking the necessity of promptly responding to client emails at 3am.

In 2022, one JPMorgan investment banking analyst said that during live deals he worked 17-hour days and finished work at 3am. 

Erdoes' honesty doesn't appear to have dissuaded anyone from applying to JPM. She said yesterday that the bank received 493,000 applicants for its 4,000 open summer analyst and associate positions (internships) this year. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • jr
    jra1950310006
    25 May 2024

    Obama and Dimon didn't destroy GE. JACK WELCH MADE IT HIS PHD.

  • Ea
    EarlSmith
    22 May 2024

    30 years ago, my wife called while I was on the trading floor at JPM. When I hung up someone asked how old I was. When I told them 48 they replied "No you're not. Nobody on the trading floor is that old. Either you move up to a glass office or you die." And JPM was a great place to work. I felt like somebody important. But about once a year as I was arriving, somebody was being wheeled out with a sheet over them.

  • Ma
    Matt Lechner
    22 May 2024

    good thing Jamie Dimon helped Team Obama destroy General Electric, the bulge-bracket American company that, of all big companies in America, put the most resources into personnel training and development, was widely considered to be the leader of the Fortune 100 in H/R practices, considered "the best" in management development. Thank God that Jamie Dimon and Team Obama got rid of them !

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