A rule has been broken on Wall Street, and 'any banker with a brain' is now looking for an exit

Joseph White

"It's going to put pressure on organizations, without

question," the veteran banker we spoke to said.The big banks are also seeing top performers leave for the

corporate companies they advise.Here are some of the big moves in the past year:JPMorgan's Alejandro Vicente joined JAB Holdings.Morgan Stanley's Alban de La

Sabliere joined the French drug maker Sanofi.JPMorgan's Henry Gosebruch went to AbbVie.Blackstone's chief financial

officer, Laurence Tosi, went to Airbnb.

Mergers-and-acquisitions activity is down significantly from the

past couple of years too.But the phenomenon could also turn into a more permanent


"Any banker with a brain … is saying to himself or herself,

'Do I need an exit strategy, and if so, what is my exit


"He also highlighted the taxing lifestyle of an investment

banker, typically associated with long hours and tight


rather than being the CFO and

having people present to you," he said.Investment banking as a whole has become a less attractive

career option.

Credit Suisse is giving bankers Friday nights off, UBS is giving bankers two hours of "personal time" a week,

JPMorgan is relaxing its dress code, Morgan Stanley is offering vice presidents four-week paid

sabbaticals, and both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are updating their performance reviews to give

more qualitative and frequent feedback to employees.Whether or not that will be enough to stem the tide of

departures remains to be seen.

Joseph White
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