Citigroup opens investment banking hub in MALAGA in a bid to attract staff who want a lifestyle change – and more free time – after Covid
- Citi has lured 27 new junior analysts to the hub in Malaga for two-year scheme
- Graduates are put off from banking by gruelling seven-day weeks, experts say
- The Malaga intake will work eight-hour days from Monday to Friday
Wall Street giant Citigroup is trying to woo junior bankers with reduced hours and sun-kissed beaches by opening up a new hub in Malaga.
The US bank is promising eight-hour days and no work on the weekends in the two-year programme which launched in the southern Spanish city yesterday.
The company chose 27 analysts from more than 3,000 applicants for the scheme, an attractive offer for graduates who face the alternative of gruelling seven-day weeks in London.
Wall Street giant Citigroup is trying to woo junior bankers with reduced hours and sun-kissed beaches by opening up a new hub in Malaga
Most of the junior investment bankers are in their early 20s and the 16 men and 11 women include one Briton and one dual Spanish-British national.
Between them they speak a total of 15 languages.
Their salary will be around half of the £86,000 starting pay offered for the same roles in London and New York.
Banks are struggling to lure prospective staff to work in city centres post-pandemic amid criticism of burnout in the industry.
Malaga, in the Costa del Sol, offers sunny beaches and local cuisine which the workers will be able to enjoy in their ample free time.
But some have criticised the move, saying it will hamper the employees who will end up working less than half the hours for less pay than their peers in Citi’s main offices.
A civic reception was held yesterday to launch the project with its new intake of 27 analysts (pictured)
A civic reception was held yesterday to launch the project as Manolo Falco, Citigroup’s global co-head of investment banking, insisted that it was ‘not a gimmick’.
He told the Financial Times: ‘We lose talent to private equity and tech, so we are eager to understand if we can stop that by offering a better work-life balance.
‘We suffer from a lot of churn like the rest of the industry, we lose talent to private equity and tech, so we are eager to understand if we can stop that by offering a better work-life balance.’
Maria Diaz del Rio, chief of staff for the unit in Malaga, said: ‘Sometimes banks burn out our analysts, so we want to prove they can work limited hours and still add value.
The US bank is promising eight-hour days and no work on the weekends in the two-year programme which launched in the southern Spanish city yesterday
‘When they are working on Mergers and Acquisitions deals, maybe we will ask them to work longer, but will compensate them with more holidays.’
Those who want to advance their career will have to move on from the Costa del Sol.
Staff who have performed well after two years will have the opportunity to apply for jobs elsewhere such as New York or London.
The debate over burnout among junior bankers was reignited last year when Goldman Sachs analysts revealed brutal hours and bullying allegations.
Banks responded by hiking first-year salaries to more than $100,000 plus bonuses.
Citi has recruited 160 graduates across Europe, the Middle East and Africa this year, and the Malaga office represents only a small part of the operation.
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