JPMorgan Asks Managing Directors Back to Office Full-Time
Workspan Daily
April 14, 2023

As reported by Bloomberg News, JPMorgan Chase & Co. told its managing directors that they now must be in the office every weekday, ending a hybrid work arrangement that sprung out of the pandemic.  

“Our leaders play a critical role in reinforcing our culture and running our businesses,” the bank’s operating committee said in a memo to staff. “They have to be visible on the floor, they must meet with clients, they need to teach and advise, and they should always be accessible for immediate feedback and impromptu meetings. We need them to lead by example, which is why we’re asking all managing directors to be in the office five days a week.” 

Wall Street firms, like companies throughout corporate America, are rethinking their work-from-home rules as pandemic concerns minimize. At New York-based JPMorgan, employees at retail bank branches and in check processing must be in daily, while others are allowed to take advantage of a hybrid-work model. Still, those workers must be in three days a week unless they have senior-management approval, according to Bloomberg. 

One motivation for bringing workers back to the office might be the new headquarters JPMorgan is building on Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan, Bloomberg notes. The 60-story skyscraper, which will house as many as 14,000 employees, will have yoga and cycling rooms, meditation spaces, an abundance of outdoor areas and a state-of-the-art food hall. 

“JPMorgan Chase has been in the city for 200 years, and this is the headquarters of JPMorgan, in the best city in the world, in the best country in the world,” CEO Jamie Dimon said at an event at the site a year ago. 

Ernst & Young Calls Off Plan to Split Audit and Consulting Units  

As reported by Reuters, accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY) has called off a plan to break up its audit and consulting units, which was meant to overhaul its business to address regulatory concerns over potential conflicts of interest.  

The company, which is one of the Big Four accounting giants, announced its plans for a split in September after regulators voiced concerns that the audit arm would not do its job fairly for its client if it also employed EY as a consultant.  

Reuters reported that the plan faced resistance from some of EY’s partners and its U.S. Executive Committee decided to not move forward with the split.  

Had the split been implemented, it would have been the biggest overhaul in the accounting sector since the 2002 collapse of Arthur Andersen, which was mired by the Enron scandal.   

McDonald’s Implementing Virtual Layoffs  

McDonald’s Corp. is the latest company asking staff to work from home during layoffs, according to Bloomberg News, a practice that has sparked criticism from other companies’ employees and management experts. 

McDonald’s told corporate staff to work remotely Monday through Wednesday to provide confidentiality while it cuts hundreds of jobs, Bloomberg reported.  

The decision was made out of respect for those affected. The company is talking with all of its corporate employees this week and is moving more people into new or higher roles than it’s laying off.  

Twitter also closed its office before conducting mass layoffs under new CEO Elon Musk in November. And PepsiCo Inc. took a similar approach in December.  

Millions of Employees Have Gained Access to 401(k)s  

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, state mandates in California, Oregon and Illinois have led to an increase in small businesses offering employees a 401(k) plan that was not previously available.  

Those three states were among the first to require private-sector employers that don’t offer retirement plans to give employees access to state-sponsored programs. They automatically enroll workers in individual retirement accounts. Employees control their assets and can opt out of saving. Seven states have such programs, with another four developing them, the Journal reported.  

However, instead of putting employees into the state options, many organizations are choosing the typically more expensive route of opening their own 401(k) plan. In California, Oregon and Illinois, organizations have adopted 401(k) plans at a faster rate than the national average, according to an analysis being released by the Pew Charitable Trusts.  

In California, there was a 16% increase in new 401(k)-type plans in 2019 through 2021, compared with 2013 to 2018. The state started its CalSavers Reitrement Savings program in 2019.  

The initiatives are the latest in a decadeslong effort on the part of governments to reduce a retirement savings gap that has left an estimated 56.5 million Americans, or about 48% of the private-sector workforce, without access to a workplace retirement savings plan.  

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