Back in the day, as in pre-2008, attempts to make the job of a Wall Street junior banker slightly more palatable would have been laughed off as crazy and unnecessary. The main reason was that any complaints to management about treating young employees like indentured servants could be met with: “Yeah…but you’re/they’re making a ridiculous amount of money for someone just out of college, so get the hell out of my office.” Grappling with the fact that, post-financial crisis, it’s become increasingly difficult to make the case for working junior mistmakers’ little fingers to the bone 24/7, management has been forced to look within and ask itself, “What would PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Analysts/Associates) do?”
In November, Goldman Sachs announced it would be implementing a bunch of “initiatives…designed to improve the junior banker experience,” the most significant being the one that gives analysts and associates 36 hours of rest between Friday night and Sunday morning, rather than keeping them chained to their desks through the weekend. Now, following Goldman’s magnanimous gesture, JP Morgan is said to be about to roll out its junior banker work/life improvement plan.
According to someone familiar with the House of Dimon, at some point this week the investment bank will be announcing the introduction of a “protected weekend,” during which IBD analysts and associates will not be allowed to even think about doing work, for one weekend every month. Apparently junior employees in JPMorgan’s healthcare group have had the protected weekend for some time now, and it’s proved “very successful for morale.”