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How Barclays is really trying to give its junior bankers an easier ride

An easier ride for junior bankers at Barclays

An easier ride for junior bankers at Barclays

As we’ve discussed several times recently, Barclays is hard at work trying to make life better for its analysts and associates in M&A. The last thing we heard, the British bank was asking its EMEA juniors to identify 3 nice and 3 nasty senior bankers. Actually, there’s more to it than that and nasty and nice aren’t the exact criteria Barclays is going for.

Instead, the bank is in the process of encouraging its London-based staff to fill out the second of two feedback forms on its ‘Working Practices Efficiency Guidelines.’

These guidelines were introduced in October 2013 following 10 months of discussions between junior and senior bankers at Barclays on working practices. Loosely, they state that:

  • Deadlines must be ‘appropriate’ – senior bankers mustn’t give junior bankers work to be completed by Monday at 8am on Friday at 6pm, for example.
  • Goalposts must not be changed – senior bankers shouldn’t only become involved in a piece of work at the very end and demand that it’s done completely differently. They need to have input from the outset.
  • Dragons must not be slayed when they can be lightly speared- why create a 70 page pitchbook when 20 pages would suffice? Work shouldn’t be done unnecessarily.
  • Weekends should be ‘protected’ as far as possible. If too many weekends have been worked, a break will be enforced.

Given that these guidelines were drawn up with the assistance of Barclays’ juniors, they offer some indications of what life at the bank must have been like before they were introduced.

And now? Barclays is monitoring their implementation carefully. As of this week, juniors are completing anonymous questionnaires about whether lives have changed. As part of these questionnaires, they’re invited to identify three senior bankers who are implementing the guidelines and three who aren’t. In theory, this should ensure that most Barclays analysts get to leave the office no later than 6pm this evening.

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