In response to this, international firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Credit Suisse Group, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are introducing new measures to alleviate stress, particularly for up-and-coming employees. These steps include cutting back or eliminating weekend work – including designating one weekend a month as ‘protected’ – and implementing task forces to help employees establish a work-life balance, while finding ways to use time and resources more efficiently.
In Canada, the Bank of Montreal is following suite. Beyond protecting weekends, the bank is upgrading technology and encouraging employees to leave the office to handle their personal lives rather than prolonging ‘face time’ in the office. Senior staff is also being asked to cease assigning work beyond 2 p.m. on Fridays unless urgent, such as the closing of a deal.
“New advisors have it much tougher because they don’t have a track record and the experience with clients,” says one Toronto advisor, who wished to remain anonymous.
“They may be encouraged to go a certain route and have to deal with more managed money and less stock picking.”
But, it’s not the just the demands of a boss, long hours or pressure to build their books that keep investors or advisors on their toes. Client demands could put them over the edge as well.
“It can be very stressful. You are judged on how you perform and you are responsible,” he adds. “The big key is to really understand what your client’s needs and goals are and get them to look longer term … if you can do that, you can alleviate the stress.”