T. Rowe Price Plans to Bring Staff Back to Offices in September

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T. Rowe Price Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Bill Stromberg said the firm plans to bring its U.S. workers back to the office by Sept. 13 after more than a year of remote work.

The money manager will allow employees in North America to return on a voluntary basis until that date, with social distancing measures in place, Stromberg said in an interview Thursday after the Baltimore-based company posted first-quarter results.

“We’re coming back with a commitment to additional workplace flexibility, more than we’ve had in the past,” Stromberg said. “Some jobs really do function better in the office than others, and some can be more independent than others,” he added. “We’re in the process of working that out, job-by-job, right now.”

Financial firms are stepping up efforts to bring workers back as Covid-19 vaccines become more broadly available and in-person schooling resumes. Many companies are deciding whether to bring everyone back full time or embrace more flexible schedules that would allow staff to work remotely for part of each week.

While some jobs such as trading are more suited for an office setting, technology and programming roles can be better handled remotely, Stromberg said. T. Rowe Price, which oversaw $1.52 trillion at the end of March, will factor that into its decision-making, he said.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. became the first major Wall Street bank to mandate a return to offices in the U.S., with employees expected to show up on a rotating basis by early July. More than a quarter of office workers in major cities were back in their offices as of April 21, the highest share in about five months, according to data from security company Kastle Systems.

T. Rowe Price reported first-quarter adjusted earnings of $3.01 a share, 6 cents better than the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Clients added a net $1.2 billion to the firm’s funds in the period, far short of the $3.4 billion analysts predicted. They pulled a net of about $9 billion from equity funds, but those withdrawals were mitigated by inflows to fixed-income and multi-asset products.

Shares of T. Rowe Price slid 0.7% to $178.55 at 11:42 a.m. in New York.

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