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'Make yourselves essential': Read the full memo that LionTree's founder sent to staff on returning to the office and the roles they should aspire to play

Aryeh Bourkoff latest headshot

  • Aryeh Bourkoff, a tech, media, and telecom banker who founded LionTree Advisors, wrote to staff on Wednesday with his views on reopening and the post-pandemic world.
  • He urged employees to aspire to be essential during this "suspension of normal."
  • Bourkoff said that while shutting down was data-driven, the coming stage, reopening, "is a complex art" guided by science.
  • Companies will need to be loyal and nimble, he wrote. 
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Aryeh Bourkoff, a tech, media, and telecom banker who founded LionTree Advisors, wrote to staff on Wednesday with his views on reopening and the post-pandemic world.

He wrote that the work requires "strategy for the long game" because reopening "is a complex art." Right now, companies across industries are rethinking their approach to offices, with tech giants like Facebook poised to move a significant portion of their workforce remote permanently. Financial institutions, meanwhile, are scouting real estate for suburban offices and making plans for chunks of teams to come into headquarters at different times. 

Bourkoff urged staff to think about their purpose.

"As we celebrate our essential workers, we realize that 'the essential' is a fluid category to which we must continually aspire. I tell our team at LionTree, 'we are not essential workers so make yourselves essential.'" 

In the letter, Bourkoff also highlighted the need for companies to be nimble and loyal in the crisis. 

"People over profits is the new governing principle," he wrote, echoing language from leaders including BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who in recent years has said companies have a responsibility to the communities they serve, not just to their bottom line. 

LionTree's recent work includes advising KKR-backed AppLovin on its acquisition of Machine Zone, in a deal announced last week.

In a deal announced earlier this month that could reshape British telecomms, LionTree advised Liberty Global on combining its British cable network with Telefonica's O2. Much of the due diligence for that deal occurred over videoconference between the US and Europe, though deal talks started before the pandemic, the Financial Times reported.

Read Bourkoff's full letter here:

 

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