Jefferies resumes remote work, cancels travel and parties over fresh COVID fears

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Jefferies Financial Group on Wednesday canceled all shopper parties and most travel, asking workers to earn a living from home when doable attributable to a spate of COVID-19 instances.

The agency has had greater than 40 new COVID-19 instances this month together with 10 on Tuesday, Chief Executive Richard Handler mentioned in a memo seen by Reuters. Handler added that Jefferies was re-imposing a masks mandate in all places of work, no matter vaccination standing.

The funding financial institution, which has 3,000 workers worldwide, is headquartered in New York and additionally has places of work in Asia and Europe. Staff returned to places of work in October. The company has felt the pandemic’s affect acutely. Chief Financial Officer Peg Broadbent died attributable to coronavirus problems in March 2020.

More than 95% of Jefferies employees are actually vaccinated, and all guests to Jefferies’ places of work have to be totally vaccinated, Handler mentioned within the memo.

“That is why, with only a very few exceptions, most of our new cases have not required hospitalization,” he mentioned.

Jefferies’ transfer raised questions on whether or not different banks will even review return-to-office plans, masks mandates and travel and leisure insurance policies.

Richard Handler, Jefferies’ CEO, mentioned in a memo seen by Reuters that the NY-based financial institution additionally was re-imposing a masks mandate in all places of work, no matter vaccination standing.
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U.S. banks have been extra assertive than different industries in encouraging workers again to the office. Senior bankers similar to Goldman Sachs Chief Executive David Solomon and Morgan Stanley Chief Executive James Gorman have spoken of the advantages of in-person interplay, significantly for youthful workers.

Most main U.S. banks have been bringing employees again to the office because the summer season. But these plans have come beneath renewed scrutiny as a result of fast unfold of the Omicron variant.

So far, main U.S. banks have been sticking to their present COVID-19 insurance policies though sources on the “big six” companies say they’re holding an in depth watch on developments.

Jefferies, which has now canceled most business travel attributable to renewed COVID issues, lost its CFO, Peg Broadbent, to the illness in March 2020.
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Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan have had most employees again at places of work on a rotational foundation because the summer season.

Others, like Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America, have taken a extra versatile stance.

Wells Fargo pushed its return-to-office plans again to January 2022, whereas Citigroup workers in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. have been working from the office at the very least two days every week since Sept. 13.

Big banks within the US have primarily been boosting returning to the office, with CEOs like Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman being specific advocates.
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Major U.S. banks have additionally been persevering with with vacation parties and shopper conferences because the Omicron variant was found, sources mentioned, though they require proof of vaccination to attend.

In Europe, the place Omicron has unfold extra quickly, some banks have canceled occasions similar to JPMorgan’s annual festive carols reception in London and year-end occasion in Paris.

Deutsche Bank has advised its London employees they’ll maintain small gatherings on the workforce degree. Asset supervisor Schroders and the City of London Corporation, which runs London’s historic monetary district, ask friends to take fast exams earlier than some festive occasions.

Jefferies’ transfer raises questions on whether or not different banks will even review return-to-office plans.
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Some giant U.S. corporations are additionally pushing again their office-return date as a result of Omicron variant.

Jefferies, which the memo mentioned had seen attendance common as excessive as 60% many days globally in current weeks, mentioned anybody who needs to enter a Jefferies office or occasion should have a booster vaccination administered by Jan. 31, except they don’t seem to be but eligible to take action.

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