Finance

Credit Suisse tells juniors to expense takeaways as deal boom makes all-nighters the norm

Investment banks are rolling out a new perk for juniors burning the midnight oil at home — free takeaways.

Banks including Credit Suisse and Barclays have started offering reimbursements to home-bound junior bankers required to work into the night, as banks see record deal flow while most of their employees remain locked in at home.

Credit Suisse’s chief executive of capital markets and advisory, David Miller, extended its policy of reimbursing staff for meals to vice presidents, associates and analysts. “We recognise the extraordinary efforts you have undertaken throughout the remote working period and specifically during this period of unprecedented deal activity,” a memo sent to employees this week said.

Juniors at Barclays have been offered similar perks in recent weeks, according to an analyst there. UBS also offers reimbursement for meals.

Credit Suisse declined to comment. Barclays was contacted for comment.

READ JPMorgan lures juniors with boxing classes as City’s young flee banking just months into the job

Investment banks have seen a huge uptick in deal flow so far this year. Mergers and acquisitions activity reached $698.7bn in the first two months of the year, according to Refinitiv, a 56% uptick on last year, and a year-t0-date total only exceeded twice in the years 2000 and 2018.

Free food is a common perk offered to juniors when they are working late in the office. Bad London takeaways were an inspiration to Deliveroo founder William Shu. He started out at Morgan Stanley in New York and received $25 a day for meals, before transferring to the City, but still wanted good food delivered to the office.

Homebound junior bankers have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic, Financial News has reported, working 80-hour weeks in cramped apartments without the mentorship benefits of being in the office.

In recent months investment banks have pulled out the stops to keep juniors engaged including boxing lessons at JPMorgan and coffees with senior bankers. Meanwhile, banks including Citigroup and UBS have introduced hours in the day for investment bankers to take time out for themselves.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Goldman Sachs offered the free takeaway perk. 

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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