© 2020 Arizent. All rights reserved.

Survey: Pandemic changes to work environment likely to linger

Register now

Managers of funds investing in asset-backed securities (ABS) that dislike the work-from-home (WFH) environment common since the onset of the coronavirus had better learn to adapt, because the situation will most likely continue for a while.

The results of a recent survey by Seward & Kissel of C-Suite executives and general councils at alternative investment managers found that half of respondents believe their firms’ workforce will return to offices prior to Q4 2020 and 89% no later than year-end. However, only 33% of participants at firms with more than 100 employees anticipate a full return before 2021, while 56% of firms with fewer employees do.

Nevertheless, respondents foresee working from hom at least part of the time. Seward & Kissel notes that large financial services firms such as JPMorgan have already considered implementing more permanent WHF polices, and that 53% of respondents said their firms already had a WFH policy or allowed them to WFH.

“Moving forward, almost three-fourths of participants believe their firm will change its WFH policy or allow WFH,” the survey notes.

A relief for New York City, 81% of survey participants, whether in NYC or not, said they believed their firms would not open offices in alternate locations away from the main office. However, 28% of NYC participants believed their firms will reduce the size of their offices compared to only 5% of participants located elsewhere.

The survey notes that a “key takeaway from the pandemic will be how we work,” with 72% of respondents foreseeing changes to WFH policies, 69% to office setups and layouts, 37% to technology infrastructure, and 33% to business continuity plans.

A healthy chunk of participants, 40%, say their firms are likely to consider hiring remote operations, accounting and IT personnel, while 34% believe that to be true for investment professionals.

“Less than 10% of survey participants reported granting investor-friendly concessions on fee, liquidity or reporting terms during the pandemic,” the survey report says.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Coronavirus ABS
MORE FROM ASSET SECURITIZATION REPORT