Work Hard, Play Harder: Citigroup sent 27 lucky junior bankers to work on one of Spain’s best beaches

By Barbara Kollmeyer and Steve Gelsi

The new Malaga office is part of a series of employee-friendly moves at the bank

Citigroup has significantly upped the ante when it comes to attracting young bankers to a competitive job market, assigning them to a two-year stint by the Spanish seaside.

The Wall Street bank (C) has opened a new branch for junior investment bankers in Málaga, the capital of the province of the same name on the southern Mediterranean coast of Spain. Temperatures in the seaside town rarely drop below 38 F in winter or exceed 97 F in summer.

Citi received more than 3,000 applications from graduates of top universities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. The 27 junior analysts chosen represent 22 nationalities and speak 15 different languages, including English, which will be the branch’s main language for doing business. After two years, they can apply to work elsewhere within the bank.

Most of the new recruits are between 22 and 26 years old, the oldest being 32; the team is made up of 59% men and 41% women. The group will work to deliver on Citi’s strategy of aligning resources with areas where it is seeing key growth: digital disruption, technology, health and wellness, sustainability revolution and energy transition .

“After considering separate locations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, it was decided that the new group would be located in Malaga for its proven ability to attract and retain talent internationally,” Citi said. in a press release. The office is located in the center of the city, which is one of the oldest in Spain, having been founded by the Phoenicians around 770 BC.

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Like many Spanish cities, Málaga has an efficient public transport system, with a metro, buses and trains.

Manolo Falcó, global co-head of investment banking, told the Financial Times that it was not just a gimmick to attract young candidates. “We suffer from a lot of turnover like the rest of the industry, we are losing talent to private equity and technology, so we are eager to understand if we can stop this by providing a better work-life balance” , did he declare.

See also: JPMorgan executive sees about 50% chance of ‘mild’ recession, plans to hire laid-off bankers

A survey of 200 junior bankers by technology group UpSlide, provided to Financial News last month, found that 72% were willing to quit due to burnout. It comes a year after a group of disgruntled Goldman Sachs (GS) analysts claimed “inhumane” 100-hour working weeks in a PowerPoint presentation.

Entry-level salaries have reportedly soared 30% to $110,000 over the past year at many large companies as weekend work is curtailed and more vacations are handed out, according to Financial News.

Citi’s Malaga office is part of a series of employee-friendly moves at the bank under CEO Jane Fraser.

In 2021, Citigroup may have become the first major bank to embrace office flexibility.

Citi is also one of several major Wall Street banks to extend travel benefits to employees seeking abortions in other states following the June 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v.Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion.

Despite measures to encourage investment bankers, talk of layoffs at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and other banks rose after a sharp drop in deals.

From the archives (July 2022): The sum also increases: Hemingway enthusiasts and other tourists in Spain encounter a rate of inflation significantly higher than that of the United States

-Barbara Kollmeyer


(END) Dow Jones Newswire

09-17-22 1636ET

Copyright (c) 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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