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JPMorgan Chase traders to return to Manhattan HQ by September 21

  • JPMorgan Chase told traders of the plan on Wednesday in a conference call
  • Sales and trading staff must return to the Manhattan headquarters this month
  • Bank bosses believe atmosphere of the trading floor is crucial for business
  • But investment banking and trading revenue hit 8-year high during pandemic
  • Only 26% of Manhattan employers expect office workers to return this year 

By Keith Griffith For

Published: | Updated:

JPMorgan Chase & Co executives have told senior employees of the bank’s sales and trading operation that they and their teams must return to the office by September 21, even as most Manhattan employers expect to remain remote through the end of the year.

Trading chief Troy Rohrbaugh and Marc Badrichani, the bank’s global head of sales and research, delivered the message in conference calls with senior managers on Wednesday morning, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Employees with child-care issues and medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to coronavirus complications can continue working from home, according to the report.

A spokesperson for JPMorgan declined to comment when reached by

JPMorgan Chase & Co executives have reportedly told senior employees of the bank’s sales and trading operation that they and their teams must return to HQ (above in a file photo)

The empty streets of lower Manhattan are seen on Thursday. Only 26 percent of employers said they expected office workers to return by the end of the year

A source familiar with the matter told that the bank believes working in the office strengthens culture, creates a more cohesive working environment and is important for training.

When the pandemic struck New York with force in mid-March, many employers were forced to hastily implement remote-working policies, with little time to plan ahead.

Bosses of trading floors in particular feared that the move would damage business, with the lost of the boisterous camaraderie and high-tech work stations in the move to working from home.

Yet the fears of many bank executives have not come to pass, with investment banking and trading revenue hitting an eight-year high in the first half of 2020, according to data from industry research group Coalition cited by the Journal.

With its move to bring traders back to the office on the cusp of flu season, when the incidence of most respiratory viruses explodes, JPMorgan is making a risky gamble that it can safely resume office operations with the pandemic far from over.

Although New York City over the summer has seen the positive test rate for COVID-19 drop below 1 percent, most other Manhattan employers are being far more cautious. 

People are seen on the outdoor square in Hudson Yards in New York City on Wednesday

As of last month, fewer than 10 percent of Manhattan’s one million office workers had returned to working on-site, according to a survey from the Partnership for New York

Only 26 percent of employers said they expected office workers to return by the end of the year,  and a total of 54 percent expected to return by July 2021. 

Nearly a third of employers said they didn’t yet know their plans for returning employees to the office. 

Tech employers expect 74 percent of employees to return to the office by July 2021, while finance and insurance employers expect 55 percent and consulting firms expect 50 percent. 

Accounting, media and hospitality employers all expect to be back in the offices by July at much lower rates. 


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