Moving digital is already at the forefront of investment banks’ operations and the COVID-19 crisis has made it a pressing issue. Investment banks are paying closer attention to actions for sustainability as most of the firms want to go green.
Across the world including China, Italy, and other countries are exhibiting rapid recovery post lockdown. As the lockdown eases or is lifted completely, many businesses are coming back sharply, though not all. Airbnb pickups, Disneyland sellouts seems to be back on track.
Many countries are still in the lockdown phase and are planning for economic recovery. Though businesses may pick up as usual in due course, the way of business is going to change forever. There is every chance that business that adopted work from home culture will soon make it a permanent change for most of the work profiles, putting a check on infrastructure costs.
How about investment banks?
Jes Staley of Barclays says work from home culture might become a permanent thing in the future. James Gorman says that Morgan Stanley will have less real estate post-pandemic. Likewise, Deutsche also plans to reduce office costs. Further, it is anticipated that investment bankers might continue their work in regional retail branch offices post-pandemic.
Let us see what the future might hold for the investment banking industry post lockdown here.
Investment Banking: Post-lockdown Assumptions
Technology is proving that mergers and acquisitions’ value will get commodified. Online network and SaaS tools are easing the professional’s way of conducting transactions and at a faster rate as well. It is expected that micro outlets and café-style venues will set in large numbers facilitating remote work.
Many investment bankers had shunned city-centers during the crisis which will become the new norm now. COVID-19 has temporarily grounded suitcase bankers who used to keep traveling meeting clients and closing deals. Most of the time, they were off to fieldwork rather than cabin work. This eventually got replaced by long hours of video conferencing and meetings.
This situation will get stronger and continue further as lockdown gets lifted. Remote work will become the new normal as many employees are leaving their cities back to home town. Investment banking industries feel that the pandemic impact will continue due to social distancing requirements.
Sales executives, marketing experts, and professionals are not yet ready to travel to meet clients. They are worried about one day travel followed by self-isolation of two weeks. Still, it is predicted that if restrictions in international travel get lifted completely, the business may become usual. All these are assumptions and forecasts based on research and experience.
Time can reveal the correct situation analysis. All countries around the world must open their borders and remove quarantine requirements that will not get reversed at short notice.
At the same time, certain deals cannot be done at the remote. There is a necessity of in-person interaction which might be possible within a regional area or one’s country. Though a face-to-face interaction is needed for certain deals, a lot of investment banking businesses will get carried out by small teams. It is expected that there might be a certain degree of normalcy after August.
Life and work are not going to be the same after the pandemic. It will never come back to its original state. Things will move ahead with a new normal which we never thought of a few months ago.
As technology gets hyped further, its high time for investment banking professionals to use this time for upskilling themselves with big data analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and investment banking certification as well.
Life will never be the same again. Get ready for a new future by becoming future-ready.