Time was, life as a junior employee at Wall Street's biggest investment banks involved spending 100 hours each week at your dek and getting down on your knees and thanking god for sweet mercy on the rare occasions you didn't have to come into the office one the weekend. Then, starting about a year and a half ago, management got crazy and started telling its youngest employees, "Go ahead, enjoy one entire weekend per month to yourself," or some variation thereof. Each place had its own way of doing things-- Goldman Sachs banned analysts and associates from the building between Friday 9PM and Sunday 9AM, JP Morgan went with a "protected weekend," BofA recommended taking off "a minimum of four weekend days off per month"-- but for the most, everyone fell in line, with Credit Suisse, Citigroup, and Bank of Montreal all eventually jumping on the bandwagon.
But what of the junior mistmakers at UBS? The Swiss bank never said anything at the time, leaving current and potentially employees to hold out hope that perhaps one day, they'd enjoy a semblance of a life over the weekends, too. Apparently questions like "Can I expect a couple Sundays off each quarter?" have grown tiresome, which is presumably why investment banking chief sought to set the record straight during an interview with the FT:
Some query Mr Orcel’s abilities as a manager, citing a tendency to call colleagues in the middle of night. Since he arrived, several high-profile investment bankers have left UBS but others have been recruited. “Yes I’m not easy, yes I’m very demanding,” Mr Orcel says. “What I try to do is to never ask for something I’m not doing myself.” The latest generation of UBS bankers has different expectations. Many banks have introduced policies to lighten the load on juniors after the 2013 death of an intern at Bank of America. Mr Orcel says new recruits ask him if he is going to ban them from working weekends, or enforce a minimum number of holidays as other banks do. “My answer to this was no.”
You don't build a world class investment bank by giving 22 year-olds the weekend off.
Related: Citigroup Jumps On The “Protected Weekend” Bandwagon; Goldman Sachs Spells Out New “Saturday Rule” For Junior Employees; Christmas Come Early For JP Morgan Junior Employees; BofA Recommends Junior Employees Stop Doing That Thing It Never Condoned In The First Place; Credit Suisse Tells Junior Employees To Go Ahead, Enjoy A Saturday On Us; Bank Of Montreal Also Allowing Junior Bankers Some Semblance Of A Life