JPMorgan tells investment bankers to take it easy on weekends

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N has joined other Wall Street banks in telling its investment bankers to improve their work-life balance by taking weekends off.

Workers are reflected in the windows of the Canary Wharf offices of JP Morgan in London in this September 19, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Neil Hall/Files

Unless, of course, there is a big deal in the works.

In a business where multi-million dollar bonuses are at stake, 100-hour work weeks are not unusual.

But the issue of work-life balance has intensified in recent years following the death in 2013 of a Bank of America Merrill Lynch intern who allegedly had worked 72 hours without sleep.

JPMorgan’s announcement was made on Thursday by Carlos Hernandez, head of global banking, on an internal call with as many as 2,000 employees listening in, company spokeswoman Tasha Pelio said.

The changes apply to everyone in JPMorgan’s investment banking unit, from analysts to managing directors, Pelio said.

Bank of America Corp BAC.N and Morgan Stanley MS.N introduced similar policies to improve the work-life balance of employees last year.

JPMorgan is also rolling out a promotions program to enable top-performing analysts become managing directors more quickly.

The standard 12-1/2 year wait to become a managing director will be reduced by four years if a lower level employee exceeds expectations at all junctures, Pelio said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N announced a plan designed to retain junior bankers last year.

JPMorgan will also employ more technology in its workflow, particularly apps, in a bid to speed up work and gather and present data faster.

The Wall Street Journal reported details of JPMorgan's plans earlier on Thursday. (

Reporting By Sudarshan Varadhan in Bengaluru and David Henry in New York; Editing by Ted Kerr