October 1, 2022

Would You Take a Pay Cut in Exchange For a 40-Hour Workweek in a Beachside Locale?

Citigroup has launched a new program in which a few dozen young analysts will trade big investment banking salaries for shorter work days in Málaga, Spain, a beautiful city on the southern coast known for its food, culture, and lovely weather. The best part? The analysts might even have some time to enjoy the scenery.

Fortune writes:

“The new EMEA Banking Analytics Group will offer improved work-life balance to attract top talent that may not ordinarily consider a career in investment banking, which will both broaden and enhance the diversity of the bank’s talent pool,” the bank said in announcing the program.

The program received over 3,000 applications, according to data that Citi shared with Fortune, with applicants coming from every market in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, along with others from Asia and the Americas.

The program’s inaugural cohort has 27 analysts representing 22 nationalities and 15 languages, including English. They’re primarily recent college graduates between 22 and 26 years old. The group is split 59% male and 41% female.

Although program participants will make about half as much as their peers who are not working at the beach, they’ll still be expected to log eight-hour days. Considering their peers can easily clock 100 hours in a week, forty doesn’t sound bad at all.

The driving force behind the program is, of course, retention. Turns out young people aren’t that into working themselves to the bone, even if it means a better salary. Citi hopes the more laid-back program will attract people who would otherwise say “hell no” to banking’s grueling hours.

The hub’s launch comes as executives worry that talented individuals are opting not to pursue banking due to fears about overwork.

“Low levels of junior banker retention are being seen across the industry, and the message is clear: The key driver behind many junior-level departures is the search for a better work-life balance,” said Manolo Falcó, Citi’s global cohead of banking, capital markets, and advisory, in a press release.

The group will focus on the industries Citigroup believes are the fastest-growing — including technology, sustainability and health and wellness — and support investment-banking teams in Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris, said Bloomberg.

So what say you? Would you take a pay cut to work a regular 40-hour week? Would you trust your firm to stick to the deal and not work you like a dog? Would you worry your career might suffer because you aren’t in the trenches clocking crazy hours like your colleagues?

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2 Comments

  1. We’ve migrated to a 4-day, 32-hour work week year round in a public accounting firm. It’s possible and long overdue. Goes a long way in attracting talent, with most skeptical as to how it can be done. Sell access to knowledge and solutions, not billable hours. Limit your supply and premium pricing follows. Economics 101!

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