Goldman Sachs is pioneering a new type of financial innovation: European compensation structures. Goldman has gained approval from U.K. regulators for a complex pay structure, according to people familiar with the matter, putting it ahead of rivals still scrambling to deal with a new European Union bonus cap. U.K.-based staff are being told about the details of this year’s pay structure but the information isn’t public yet…Allowances won’t count toward pension contributions but, crucially, will count as fixed pay in bonus calculations—essentially giving banks a partial way around the bonus cap…Backers of the bonus cap say reducing overall pay levels wasn’t their goal. Instead it was to make sure pay structures didn’t encourage short-term risk-taking, said Arlene McCarthy, a British member of the European Parliament who helped draft the rules. “I don’t give a s— what they’re paid frankly,” she said. [WSJ]
Goldman Sachs Execs Thrilled With Results Of Utah Experiment, Could Use A Little Work In The “How To Talk With People From Utah” DepartmentBy Bess Levin
Goldman Sachs Group Inc has been quietly moving thousands of jobs from pricey places like New York and London to cheaper cities like Salt Lake City in recent years, and executives said on Thursday those efforts are finally starting to show up in the bank’s results…More than 30 people with global responsibilities are now based in the state capital of Utah, including a compliance team headed by Matthew Moore, a managing director who oversees regulatory audits and inquiries. A credit research team of more than 60 people who perform reviews of Goldman’s counterparties is also based in Utah…One former Salt Lake City employee recalled visits from senior executives touring the office that were filled with awkward banter about skiing or the Mormon religion, and an emphasis on how important the office was because of how cheap it is. [Reuters via Lauren LaCapra]
In fact, as befits a market-driven company, the cafeteria has pricing based on demand; if you go during peak hours, you pay more. (“François, we’re having a run on meatloaf — quick, raise our ask!”) It’s a very different system — and self-consciously so — from what exists at another corporate dynamo, Google, which ranks No. 1 again on Fortune’s list and where all kinds of foods are famously free. “Different culture,” Galen says. “I could take it out of your paycheck and put it into the café, or I can put it in your paycheck and give you the choice to go to Shake Shack. We prefer the latter.” [Fortune, earlier]
Over at Fortune today you will find a story about Marty Chavez, a Goldman Sachs partner who rejoined the firm 2005 after leaving for several years to found a business, sell it, and retire to Fire Island. Chavez would’ve been content to live out his life on the beach but one day, this happened:
…he got a call from now-president Gary Cohn, then co-head of global securities. “I heard you sold your company — congratulations,” Chavez recalls him saying. “I heard you retired. That’s ridiculous. I was just calling to share with you that you’re coming back.” When Chavez told him he was burned out on commodities, Cohn suggested investment banking. Chavez didn’t know the first thing about banking, but Cohn was insistent.
Generally, when Gary Cohn talks, you listen. He doesn’t call to offer you a job, he calls to tell you you’re taking it. He doesn’t give you time to think things over, he sticks his grundle in your face and asks “What’s there to think about?” In this case, however, he knew a more subtle touch was necessary. Read more »
Like Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs before it, Credit Suisse announced this week that analysts and associates will have some semblance of a weekend, moving forward. Unlike JP Morgan’s monthly “protected” weekend and BofA’s “take the number of UNAUTHORIZED weekend days you were previously working and cut it in half,” Credit Suisse has chosen to adopt the Goldman Sachs 36-hour weekend model, unless of course urgent work needs to be done, in which case, consider your ass glued to that desk. Read more »