Although the impact will not be nearly as harsh as the sudden social suspension COVID-19 forced on them in early 2020, the Omicron variant's spread is causing investment bankers to switch back to remotely-conducted business. The onset of the pandemic made global merger and acquisition activity fall to a three-year low, but the new surge will hopefully be easier on the business due to its reportedly truncated life-cycle and bankers' latent proclivity for negotiating deals via online platforms like Zoom.
There is, however, a long-standing concern that continued lack of in-person interaction is negatively affecting the strength of business relationships and connections. The timing of Omicron's arrival is also a bad omen; corporations often put time aside at the beginning of the year to consider strategic changes, interfacing more frequently with advisors. Drew Goldman, Global Head of Investment Banking Coverage & Advisory at Deutsche Bank AG, said, "My motto has always been, if I'm not in front of my clients, someone else is. But I think this is just a different time. If people want to travel, and they are comfortable doing it, and they take precautions, I'm allowing people."
In the larger financial world, big banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley have embraced work-from-home policies throughout the pandemic, even during the wide-availability phase of vaccines that saw investment bankers hastily opening their schedules for on-premise meetings.