Should You Be Looking For a New Job?

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If it feels to you like there’s been a lot of attrition lately, you’re not alone. It’s like there’s a new top banker or trader switching jobs, daily. Some people just want a new opportunity. But in part, there’s a frustration with corporations asking staff to come back too soon.

“There are people who don’t want to go back full-time -- and don’t want to say it to their employer,” said Jeanne Branthover, global leader of financial services at search firm DHR International. “That’s going to shake out in the fall. Candidates are not going to say they’re not coming back until they secure their next job.”

Bloomberg’s Anders Melin and Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou spoke to people across industries who were straight-up quitting their jobs when they were asked to come back in person. A LinkedIn executive told me in March that there have been record levels of employee burnout across companies, and we can expect a “fair amount of either employee attrition” because of it. Beyond that, the words “compassion,” “empathy” and “flexibility” have become the new parlance of the C-suite.

Top investment bankers are working out the calculus for their own firms.

“We’re not in the business of FaceTime,” Citigroup’s Tyler Dickson, who co-leads the investment banking business, told me in an exclusive television interview while also expressing the need for flexibility. His bankers join many others who are back on the road to meet clients. “We’re engaging more directly with clients now that vaccines are flowing and people are feeling that it’s safer to get together in an appropriate way.”

Perella Weinberg Partners is telling dealmakers that a five-day, in-office work week might not be a fixture of the future. “We don’t need to do all our work together in the office all the time, but we do need to do some of our work together in the office some of the time,” Co-President Andrew Bednar said in a memo to staff this week obtained by Bloomberg.

“We are planning for the future of work longer term, not simply a return to what we did pre-pandemic,” he said.

Lazard CEO Ken Jacobs says he worries about younger bankers in a remote environment. “This has been an extraordinarily productive year, we haven’t really missed much as a result of being out of the office,” Jacobs told me in an exclusive television interview. “Longer term, it has big impacts on the ability to train, and recruit and retain the best of our people.”

Meanwhile DHR’s Branthover explained that an elevated rate of mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructurings leaves firms across the industry in need of fresh talent.

“If you’re going to change jobs, there’s probably never been a better market for it,” she said. “There’s a skill-set correction, and a need for leadership that’s going to move the needle.”

The Ackman SPAC

It’s a complicated deal -- so I’m going to leave you to mostly learn about it on your own devices. Bill Ackman’s blank-check company confirmed talks to buy 10% of Universal Music Group, the home of Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish that is spinning off of Vivendi.

Ackman’s plans were met with a chilly response from SPAC investors, with Pershing Square Tontine Holdings falling about 12% in Friday’s trading. Citigroup analysts called the UMG sale “mildly disappointing” due to the valuation.

Yet it’s a long-awaited transaction.

It also includes a new idea, in what Pershing calls a “SPARC.” With $1.5 billion left in Ackman’s blank-check firm, investors can opt-in to acquiring a stake in a new vehicle called a special purchase acquisition rights company that will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Here’s Matt Levine’s expansive take on this, for those who love the nuances of financial engineering. If all the rights are exercised by investors, the vehicle would have $10.6 billion for a fresh transaction, Pershing expects.

Bank Killer

“We don’t need the banks anymore,” Jack Dorsey said on Friday at a massive gathering of crypto entrepreneurs in Miami, Bitcoin 2021, drawing a large applause.

Brian Brooks, the CEO of Binance.US who was most recently one of the top banking regulators in the country, said Ethereum is a threat to the financial system as we know it. “It was the first one to market that created a real platform that people who were going to kill the banks could build their apps on, and now you see that at huge scale.”

Ethereum is “the current platform for building things,” he explained in an exclusive interview. Meanwhile DeFi needs to be “part of everybody’s portfolio because that is one day what can replace finance.”

DeFis are a form of crypto lending, are not insured and have drawn major concerns among even the biggest of crypto evangelists. “The government’s not standing behind these projects,” Brooks said. “You’re not going to be able to generate 8% returns forever,” he said. However, he adds, “The whole point of DeFi is you’re always going to get a better yield than you get at the bank.”

You can find his full thoughts here for Quicktake Focus, where we took a 30-minute dive into the crypto conference that’s brought people together in such a big way for the first time in a long time. The show is daily -- and next week we’ll spend a few days digging into deals and the Robinhood model.

Also next week: Our Deals Summit is June 8 virtually, and it is set to be hopping. Ken Moelis, JPMorgan’s Anu Aiyengar, Jeffrey Smith of Starboard Value and Goldman’s Kim Posnett are all on tap -- you can view the full agenda here.

More to come. Tips & ideas are always welcome at sbasak7@bloomberg.net.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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