As of last Thursday, the bank will officially be encouraging its employers (“everyone from analysts to managing directors”) to take weekends off –, “as long as there isn’t a live deal in the works” – in an initiative called “Pencils Down.”
The goal of the initiative is to improve work-life balance, reduce exhaustion, and minimize the threat of early burnout – important goals for investment bankers who are used to working 100-hour weeks.
Carlos Hernandez, J.P. Morgan’s head of global banking, also announced a new promotions program in the global offices that will speed up “promotions for top performers in every position, reducing the time it takes for an analyst, the lowest rank at the bank, to rise up to managing director.”
Typically, investment bankers remain in the role of analyst for three years, followed by 3.5 more years as an associate, followed by three more years as a vice president, and then three more years as executive director, before finally becoming managing director. Those who exceed expectations can reduce that time by about one year for each position.
Another initiative, “Team Connect,” will improve the bank’s apprenticeship program and create more events for analysts and managing directors, with a focus on making the more junior members feel appreciated.