Look at this joke response after one of the analysts (anonymously of course) posed this question to my firm's CEO and CFO as part of our quarterly Q&A sessions. Half of the initiatives cited are just straight up not enforced at all. Note that my bank is not one of those with protected Saturdays. We also don't have an outsourced graphics team or even somebody who is always in the office to handle printing books. This is at a well established MM:
Question: "What steps have been taken to remediate the extremely high turn over within junior level investment bankers?
Response: We are focused on retaining talented junior level investment bankers. We routinely benchmark our retention rates against peer firms. Addressing involuntary turnover of junior bankers - notwithstanding whether it can be reasonably defined as "extremely high" -- is an issue we have wrestled with for several years. We have tried to address the problem in a number of ways: (1) work life balance initiatives, (2) enhancing the experience of each junior banker, (3) adding training modules, and (4) reviewing mentorship programs to rollout this summer.
Over the past couple of years we have rolled out work/life balance initiatives including protected weekends and no new staffing after noon on Friday's. The roll out of those initiatives happened to coincide with the busiest period in the history of the firm as evidenced by our back-to-back record years in banking......so to many of you, you may not have seen or felt much benefit. We remain committed to this program and will continue to push for compliance across banking. We have also hired our two largest analysts/associate classes in the past two years to try to address workloads with additional headcount.
Our junior bankers want a great experience - to most that means getting real reps on live deals and not doing busy work or constantly working on pitches. I think we're delivering on this point and given the consistent interest from PE firms in our analysts, we know that we are developing a group of young professionals with highly marketable skills.
A good experience also relates to the individual's work environment - specifically are they getting appropriate training and mentoring, are communications regular and does everyone feel like they are part of a team where their contributions are valued.
-During 2015, we added a training module for Associate 1s who were promoted to Associate II
-A supplementary training session in August to continue helping new analysts and associates transition to investment banking modeling
-During 2016, we are adding a 3rd day intern training session
-We are rolling out a mentorship program to incoming full-time and intern hires so they have a banker to speak with and share their feedback
-We are hosting VP and Associate training sessions late this summer
The retention of our employees is a key priority for everyone on the leadership team. We would be happy to hear from junior staff to address any concerns and continue to improve the work environment."
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