Here’s what 7 CEOs of major financial firms are saying about the return to office and the future of their real estate footprints

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon.

Summary List Placement

The past six months have been filled with speculation about the future of the office, with some tech companies moving to a more remote future and even the most skeptical, conservative companies realizing that remote work could sustain their business for an extended period of time. 

A key question is whether companies will move to more remote models and choose to downsize their office portfolio, cutting back on their expenses and, if enough do it at once, sinking the office market. 

There are already some warning signs in the office world, with JLL’s third-quarter office outlook finding that the sublease market, or space that companies have decided to vacate and rent out to another company, is larger than it was during the dot-com bubble. The third quarter also saw the largest drop in occupancy ever, with vacancy rising to 16%. 

We’ve compiled comments from seven leading executives at firms like BlackRock, JPMorgan, and Wells Fargo this earning’s season about their firm’s office portfolios While many have begun to go back to the office and have said that they think offices are essential to their future, more than one talked about downsizing their footprint permanently after the end of coronavirus restrictions. 

SEE ALSO: The office as we knew it is dead

SEE ALSO: Citi’s CFO says the bank is shrinking its office footprint and moving people to lower-cost locations to help keep expenses in check

SEE ALSO: The Big Tech office isn’t dead. Here’s why giants like Facebook and Amazon keep gobbling up space while telling workers they can stay home.

  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is moving toward open banking regulation

BlackRock

Asset management giant BlackRock has started to come back to the office, but is also looking forward to a future where employees will mix remote work with in-office collaboration. 

On the firm’s third-quarter earning’s call, CEO Larry Fink said that he’s been in the office three days a week. Fink is part of the early vanguard, as CFO Gary Shedlin said that the firm is “still operating with only about 6% to 7% of our employees back in the office.” 

While the firm didn’t comment on its office portfolio, which numbers 89 different offices across 38 countries, Fink said that remote work could be here to stay.

“I don’t believe we will have 100% back in office even when we have 100% solutions related to the virus,” Fink said. “I believe this will become a blessing. I believe this is going to be considered a benefit.”

He also said that the firm could rotate 30-40% of its workforce to remote work at a time.

However, Shedlin made it clear that the firm isn’t going to get rid of offices. 

“Operationally, I think, over time, I think the culture of BlackRock is still an office type of culture, where innovation has always been driven by having people working together,” Shedlin said. “And I think, longer-term, we’re going to hope that we get back there as quickly as we can.”

JPMorgan Chase

Jamie Dimon told a group of journalists on Tuesday that the virus, and the remote work revolution it has …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Finance

      

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