Fidelity International Tests Flexible Working, Mulls Pay Rises
(Bloomberg) -- Fidelity International staff are trying out new ways of flexible working and may get a bump in pay as the asset manager grapples with a pandemic that’s upended working habits and fueled inflationary pressures.
The firm has given some teams options for five or six different working patterns and asked them to test the arrangements for a few months before reporting back, according to Chief Executive Officer Anne Richards. Fidelity is also considering raising employees pay given inflation, she said.
“We are just going to have to keep nimble on this,” Richards said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “There are some real huge compelling reasons to bring people together. But I don’t believe that you need to have people in the office 8, 10 hours a day, five days a week in order to do that,” she said.
Last year’s abrupt shift to remote working has sparked a debate across the financial industry about what firms should require of staff in terms of working practices. Nigel Wilson, the CEO of Legal & General Group Plc, said earlier this month that the City of London was struggling far more than the U.K.’s other office districts in luring workers back to their offices.
Investment banks are also facing pressure to raise wages to attract top talent. The bidding war was sparked by an internal memo outlining complaints from a group of 13 first-year analysts in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. about the the rigors of Wall Street life, including sleepless weeks and endless demands.
“Inflation is definitely a thing and we will be responding to that,” Richards said. “We are not taking the approach that you have seen with some of the investment banks, for example, who have got deeply unhappy staff in certain areas.”
Fidelity International had about $787 billion in assets under management and administration as of June 30. The firm employs more than 8,500 globally, with about 2,500 of those based in the U.K. Richards took over as CEO at Fidelity International in late 2018.
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