Six months ago, New York’s financial industry abandoned its corner offices, conference rooms and trading floors almost overnight as the coronavirus raged across the city.
The industry’s return to office life, by contrast, has been shambolic.
The Midtown Manhattan offices of Mudrick Capital, a hedge fund, never closed, but workers were required to return only after Labor Day. Across town, the offices of a fellow hedge fund, Pershing Square, remain shut, its trading terminals idle and rooftop tennis court unused since spring. JPMorgan Chase, one of the city’s largest private employers, recently asked some senior staff in its markets division to come back starting this week. Other banks have been slower, with Goldman Sachs and Citigroup calling back more workers beginning next month.
“Covid is effectively gone from New York,” said Jason Mudrick, who runs Mudrick Capital, explaining why he sees little reason to keep his 26 employees home. “I