Citi Boosts Junior Bankers’ Pay, Joining JPMorgan and Bank of America

Citigroup Inc. will increase annual base salaries for its junior bankers, the latest Wall Street lender seeking to retain younger staff facing burnout from working long hours during the pandemic.

The bank is increasing salaries for program vice presidents, analysts and associates in its banking, capital markets and advisory unit, according to a memo to staff seen by Bloomberg News. The raises range from $15,000 to $25,000 and under the changes a first-year analyst base salary will now be $100,000 according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private information.

“Especially in this current environment, it is important we recognize your talent and efforts to drive our businesses’ success and serve our clients,” Tyler Dickson and Manuel Falco, who run the unit, said in the memo.

The raises will apply to most locations, take effect from July 1 and be reflected in August payment dates, the bank said in the memo.

Citigroup follows Barclays Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. which have also lifted base salaries for first-year analysts to $100,000, in a bid to stem defections of younger staff inundated by work. Bank of America Corp. has also said it would raise pay for its junior investment bankers, while others have been handing out bonuses, offering vacations and banning weekend work to ease the pressures. A presentation from a group of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts earlier this year shed light on 100-hour weeks and declining physical as well as mental health of staff battling with the work-from-home grind.

Citigroup will continue to focus on wellness initiatives in the division, ensuring staff have enough time off through its weekend exception policy and protected holiday weekends, according to the memo. The unit will also actively support the bank’s hybrid work model, it said.

Falco last month touted the lender’s flexible work policies as a tool giving the bank a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining top staff. It sets the bank apart from some U.S. rivals taking a more hard-line approach to remote work, he said, naming JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. which are requiring most U.S. staff return to the office.

Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser said in March, shortly after taking on the top job, that being in the office is important for competitiveness, collaboration and mentoring young staffers. But she said the majority of the lender’s roles will still be designated as hybrid, where workers are in the office at least three days a week and working from home for as many as two.

Insider, formerly known as Business Insider, reported the pay increases earlier.

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