Back in May, we reported that there was a bit of tension between some growing first year analysts and higher-ups at Goldman Sachs. The issue was that the li’l fellas, antsy to leave the nest, were making arrangements with private equity firms and hedge funds for the following year, when they still had a little more than twelve months left until their two year commitment to GS was complete. And while Mama Lloyd and Papa Gar want nothing more than to see their babies succeed, they also felt like the kiddos were jumping the gun a little bit (and were in violation of the rule that when you live under their roof, you play by their rules, namely that no analyst shall take part in recruiting until six months from the time they’ve finished the two year program). To set an example, a bunch of particularly bad analysts were kicked to the curb and while it probably did put the fear of God into the others, who’ve remained on the straight and narrow ever since, it didn’t make anyone very happy. So now this is happening:
Goldman Sachs is doing away with two-year contracts for most analysts hired out of college, according to communications reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by a Goldman spokesman. Analysts also won’t get bonuses for completing the program, which has been around for a quarter of a century and has been viewed as a meal ticket to a lucrative Wall Street career.
The New York company’s decision came after executives grew frustrated that many graduates weren’t staying with the firm after completing the two years, and after Goldman fired a handful of analysts over the past year for signing on to work at other financial companies in violation of their contracts. Goldman has been reaching out to employees over the past two days to inform them of the changes, which will take effect for analysts who will start in 2013. “We think the historic two-year program is no longer the best approach for hiring and developing the careers of analysts in our banking and investment-management divisions,” said the Goldman spokesman. “Making this change allows us to emphasize the longer-term career opportunities available at the firm.”
No more fighting, no more sneaking around, no more need for anyone to put their foot down. If you want to leave after a year (or sooner), if you think you’re grown up enough to make it out there on your own, by all means, go. That’s your call and no one’s gonna stop your or beg you to reconsider.* But if you decide you want to stay, be it for two years or twelve or twenty, Gary Cohn’s thighs appreciate your commitment to the firm and look forward to working with you one day.
*It’s a mistake, of course, but it’s yours to make.
Back in March, a young man named Greg Smith published an Op-Ed in the Times called “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs.” Greg wrote that despite joining a firm that, in the beginning, cared about “teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by clients” and not “just about making money,” he’d ultimately come to be sickened by a place that, twelve years later, he couldn’t even recognize. A place that, on Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn’s watch, had lost its way. A place that, he’d come to see, was devoid of any sort of morals, whatsoever. A place that needed to take a long hard look at what it had become. A place that, he predicted, was not long for this earth. Because unlike Smith, whose proudest moments in life– “being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist and winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics,” respectively– involved hard work and no short cuts, “Goldman Sachs today,” Smith wrote, is all “about the shortcuts and not enough about achievements.” Goldman Sachs 2.o, one might say, hasn’t worked an honest day in its life and that didn’t feel right to Smith anymore.
The piece, which was said to come as shock to Goldman, did not please many people on the inside, nor did the $1.5 million deal Smith scored shortly thereafter to write Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, out October 22. Here’s how Greg’s publisher describes WILGS:
From the shenanigans of his summer internship during the technology bubble to Las Vegas hot tubs and the excesses of the real estate boom; from the career lifeline he received from an NFL Hall of Famer during the bear market to the day Warren Buffett came to save Goldman Sachs from extinction-Smith will take the reader on his personal journey through the firm, and bring us inside the world’s most powerful bank.
And while higher-ups at GS may have been initially worried about the potentially damaging revelations that would appear in the book, apparently time, a slap in the face and an order to ‘get it together you pustulant milquetoasts’ by the ghost of Lucas van Praag has resulted in this delightfully bitchy, exceptionally underminery comment from 200 West:
“Every day, some young professional, after a decade in a post-collegiate job, reassesses his or her career and decides to move on and do something else,” David Wells, a Goldman Sachs spokesman said Dealbook in an e-mailed statement. “Others can better judge whether Mr. Smith’s particular career transition is of unique interest.”
Regardless of whether or not Goldman is correct in its assessment that Greg’s sounds like the story dozens of analyst finishing their first year would tell of the “epic” stuff they witnessed during their 12 months of banking (+previous summer internship, during which things got pretty crazy) or if his particular career transition is indeed of unique interest, Dealbreaker will be hosting an evening of dramatic readings of select chapters, with yet-to-be secured GS alum/raconteur/boulevardier Lucas van Praag standing in for the part of Mr. Smith. Venue and ticket pricing to follow.
Former Banker Promises A Peek At Goldman Sachs [Dealbook]
Earlier: Resignation Letter Reveals Goldman Sachs Is In The Business Of Making Money, Hires People Who Don’t Know How To Tie Their Shoes; Jewish Ping-Pong Tournament Participant / Sixth-Year Goldman Sachs Vice President Is Looking For His Next Challenge; Goldman Sachs Accuser Greg Smith (Might Have) Lied About That Which He Holds Most Sacred
Wall Street banks’ research on their competitors is not only a window into analysts’ anxieties about their own banks’ prospects, but also a ripe area for conflicts between investment advice and industry advocacy. The days of analysts writing research reports that were like “Facebook should really do a huge equity offering and hire my bank […]
Relatedly, Goldman is looking for some young bodies.
Financial firms in London, besieged by Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis, probably will shrink their workforce this year, snapping a hiring rebound from 2008’s credit crisis as New York’s industry ekes out job growth. Banks, insurers and other financial-services firms may eliminate about 3,000 jobs across greater London as companies in the New York region add 9,000, according to U.K.-based researcher Oxford Economics Ltd. London’s proximity to the debt crisis is undermining the city’s efforts to gain on its trans-Atlantic rival. While Wall Street also is suffering from a global slowdown in trading and deal-making, North American banks are benefiting from a surge in consumer lending…Some large banks are offsetting senior-staff reductions by recruiting less-expensive workers. New York-based Goldman Sachs, seeking to cut $500 million of costs, expects its workforce to feature a greater proportion of junior employees by year-end, Chief Financial Officer David A. Viniar, 57, said July 17. “Wall Street is tilting toward younger, up-and-coming talent,” Kahn said.
The cuts aren’t said to be too significant but good luck telling that to the people who’ll no longer be receiving quality Cohn-crotch time.
Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street bank that generated 58 percent of first-half revenue from sales and trading, eliminated 20 to 30 jobs in that division this week, according to a person briefed on the matter. The cuts affected salespeople and traders in the U.S., with most taking place in New York, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the reductions aren’t being announced publicly. The decision is part of a continuous review of staffing levels amid difficult markets, the person said.
My main thought about Sergey Aleynikov has always been: poor Sergey Aleynikov! When the former Goldman programmer got eight years in federal prison for stealing high-frequency trading code from his and my ex-employer, it was hard not to feel that that was a little harsher than necessary. And I may not have been alone: that […]
Oakland has been fighting with Goldman Sachs over an interest rate swap for a while and I’ve always thought it’s a little embarrassing to talk about. Obviously Oakland’s theory – “we entered into a bet, and we lost, so we want to pretend it never happened” – is pretty silly, but it’s like, yeah, Oakland […]
Jefferies set aside $870 million in the first six months of its fiscal year, enough to pay its 3,809 employees an average of $228,407. Goldman Sachs set aside $225,789 for each of its 32,300 workers. Average pay for the 26,553 people in JPMorgan’s investment bank was $184,989, or at least 18 percent less than Jefferies’s […]
Discolored tap water afflicted Goldman’s Lower Manhattan headquarters in July. The annoyance, familiar to anyone who has spent time in New York City, caused some hand-wringing (if not hand-washing) among the firm’s employees, for whom 200 West Street is usually a sanctuary of comfort. Water used for coffee and ice took on a yellowish color, […]
Mr. Blankfein did not rule out working in government after his tenure as the chief of Goldman is over. “I have aspirations to be desired,” he said eliciting laughter from the several hundred attendees. “By any president; I didn’t mean to limit it to the United States.” [Dealbook via DI]
The cuts aren’t expected to go too deep but every man, woman, and plant counts.
David A. Viniar, Goldman’s chief financial officer, said the latest round of belt-tightening by the New York company might include job losses for “a couple of hundred people.” By year end, Goldman will reduce total expenses by $500 million on top of about $1.4 billion in cuts since last spring.
One way you could spend this slow week is reading the “living wills” submitted by a bunch of banks telling regulators how to wind them up if they go under. Don’t, though: they’re about the most boring and least informative things imaginable and I am angry that I read them.* Here for instance is how JPMorgan would wind itself up if left to its own devices**:
(1) It would just file for bankruptcy and stiff its non-deposit creditors (at the holding company and then, if necessary, at the bank).
(2) If after stiffing its non-deposit creditors it didn’t have enough money to pay its depositors it would sell its highly attractive businesses in a competitive sale to willing buyers who would pay top dollar.
This seems wrong, no? And not just in the sense of “in my opinion that would be sort of difficult, what with people freaking out about JPMorgan going bankrupt and its highly attractive businesses having landing it in, um, bankruptcy.” It’s wrong in the sense that it’s the opposite of having a plan for dealing with banks being “too big to fail”: it’s premised on an assumption that the bank is not too big to fail. If JPMorgan runs into trouble that it can’t get out of without taxpayer support, it’ll just file for bankruptcy like anybody else. Depositors will be repaid (if they’re under FDIC limits); non-depositor creditors will be screwed just like they would be on a failure of Second Community Bank of Kenosha.
Goldman Sachs Employees Worried About Wives’ Inability To ‘Get’ Family Guy, Having Body Parts Put In Vise Grips, According To Reporter Who Stood In The Middle Of A Bar Near Goldman And Wrote Down Things People Said
It was 5:01 p.m. The Blue Smoke bar was humming. Outside was hammering rain. The stock market had closed up smartly. Conversation strayed: “So I’m off to Sydney tomorrow. Then Hong Kong.” “You doing anything tonight? Tomorrow night?” “My wife was really annoying yesterday. She just doesn’t get ‘Family Guy.’” A suited man was telling […]
The summer cuts continue. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) cut several dozen jobs from its U.S. operations on Thursday, aiming to cut costs amid a slowdown in capital markets activity, three people familiar with the matter said. Goldman cuts jobs across U.S. offices [Reuters]
The bad news is that Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, UBS, and others have been making cuts and are expected to continue to do so. The good news is that not everybody is upset about it.
Speaking to bankers and other industry sources, Reuters was able to confirm at least 50 people were let go in the past three weeks, a cull that includes senior expatriates as well as junior bankers. The cuts mainly target the equities business, with more layoffs expected in coming weeks. CLSA , Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and UBS were among the banks and brokerages that cut jobs, the sources said…The Asia cuts also come at an unexpected time, when expatriate finance professionals are preparing to hunker down for the summer while their families head home for the holiday. “I’m disappointed, but in some ways I’m glad I was cut early in this round, because everyone is looking over their shoulder,” said Cassandra Lister, who was recently let go as a managing director at Societe Generale in Hong Kong. “They’re looking around and wondering ‘Am I next?’ It’s a horrible work environment.”
And so he’s not paying them on principle, the principle being I suppose “don’t fuck with Carl Icahn”: Carl Icahn says he isn’t paying a bill from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., on principle. … “These guys were hired to keep me from buying the company at $30 and they failed,” Mr. Icahn said in an […]
Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the debt ratings of 15 major international banks and securities firms on Thursday, a move that could cost the banks billions of dollars in extra collateral…U.S banks that were downgraded included: Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley. “All of the banks affected by today’s actions have significant […]
Sell-side M&A work is mostly a pretty good and lucrative business model but it has a few flaws. Try to spot a key one here:
(1) you represent a target;
(2) you spend your days fighting tooth and nail with the buyer to try to make them pay more and give up optionality, and generally to get more of the benefits of the deal for the target than for the buyer;
(3) then the buyer acquires the target, fires all the directors and officers, changes the locks, and replaces the stationery;
(4) then you get paid.
Did you spot the problem? Carl Icahn did:
“Of course I would like to be CEO of Goldman Sachs, but I am very happy in the role and job I’m in now and I’ve a great job and a great opportunity in front of me. I am very happy doing what I am doing.”
Back in August, a Dartmouth student named Andrew Lohse made a simple request of his peers: to stop being whores for Wall Street. “Should landing jobs prestigious 16-hour-a-day jobs at some faceless hedge fund, where they’ll learn about manipulating capital instead of imagining a freer and more just world be the goal of the valedictorians of Ivy League institutions,” Lohse asked and then answered, “No matter how hard I try, I cannot think of more pathetic ambitions.” Lohse charged the undergraduates to “do better” and by better he meant resist being “pulled into what is essentially a vulgar and extortionate system of lending and predatory capitalism which is increasingly underwritten by what remains of the public’s coffers.” Was Lohse’s argument a persuasive one? Did the image of him “vomiting in my mouth” at the idea of his peers becoming financial services employees cause anyone to reconsider?
Apparently, not so much.
Wall Street’s allure may have dimmed for some of America’s sharpest young minds in recent years, but a quick look at the top of Dartmouth College’s class of 2012 shows that the appeal seems to remain strong. At its commencement on Sunday, Dartmouth recognized four valedictorians who graduated with perfect 4.0 grade-point averages. Three are headed to work on Wall Street at major investment banks, and one will go to the giant business consulting firm that advises them. “Certain people have the view where finance is perceived in a more negative light,” said David Rogg, one of the valedictorians, noting that there was an active chapter of the Occupy movement on Dartmouth’s campus. “But a lot of people still find it to be a very positive industry.”
He has a job lined up at Goldman Sachs, as does another of the valedictorians, Jie Zhong; a third, Wills Begor, will go to Morgan Stanley. The other valedictorian, Glynnis Kearney, will work at McKinsey & Company. Mr. Begor said some of his peers’ interest in Wall Street had diminished, “but for me, it’s an extension of the academic challenges at Dartmouth, to learn about finance, which is something we don’t get exposed to at a liberal arts college.”
Begor did add that his gig is “just for two years” and “has been accepted to Harvard Business School, starting in 2014,” so perhaps Andy got under his skin a little.
The less good news is that a jury found the former McKinsey executive guilty on three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy for passing material non-public information to his friend*, convicted insider trader Raj Rajaratnam. The good news:
1. Rajat could go to jail for twenty years but probably won’t (“Gupta faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the fraud charges and up to five years for the conspiracy charge. But his sentence is likely to be significantly lower under federal guidelines.”)
2. Sentencing is scheduled for October 18 so he’s got the whole summer and then some into a Zen place about going to prison. Also! Plenty of time to do all those things he was too busy for when he was working. This is gonna be his time. Time to taste the fruits and let the juices drip down his chin. The summer of Rajat!
*Friend Rajat’s ass.
a) Lloyd Blankfein
b) Hank Paulson
c) Jon Corzine
d) Stephen Friedman
e) Gus Levy
f) John Whitehead
g) John Weinberg
h) Sidney Weinberg
i) Marcus Goldman
Hopefully you answered D, Stephen Friedman, as that was the answer we were looking for, per a New York Observer piece on financial services employees who feel more comfortable in a onesie than a suit.
“I wrestled as well as I could wrestle, and if I lost, that was my own fault,” KKR’s Henry Kravis once told an interviewer about what he learned from wrestling. “I had nobody to blame but myself.” Apollo Global Management co-founder Josh Harris wrestled at the University of Pennsylvania before deciding that making his 118-pound weight class didn’t allow either the time or calories for the old “college experience.” Former Goldman Sachs chief executive officer Stephen Friedman, an AAU champion who wrestled at Cornell, was known to challenge subordinates to impromptu matches. Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was a college wrestler, though Mr. Novogratz pointed out that Mr. Thain, now CIT Group CEO, wrestled at the Division III level.
Lloyd C. Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs for the past six years, said it’s a “tough job to leave” and he’s unlikely to follow his predecessors into government. “When you think of my last five or six predecessors, five of them left because they went to the government,” he told reporters […]
Over the course of the Rajat Gupta insider trading trial, attorneys for the former Goldman Sachs director have attempted to show that while their client was privy to material non-public information about, among others, Goldman and Procter & Gamble, and had an established relationship with Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge fund manager currently doing eleven years for trading on material non-public information, their client had no role in helping Raj-Raj score his ill-gotten gains. Last Monday the defense put a witness on the stand who told the jury that while once close, Gupta wasn’t even invited to Rajaratnam’s “lavish 50th birthday party that took place in Kenya,” ergo there is no way Rajat would’ve shared inside info with the guy. This week, the team was hoping to play wiretaps of conversations that took place between Rajaratnam and Goldman executive David Loeb, who they claim is the guy who actually tipped off the Galleon manager. Unfortunately:
Rajat Gupta, the former Goldman Sachs Group director accused of insider trading, lost a bid to have a jury hear wiretaps of Goldman Sachs executive David Loeb tipping Galleon Group LLC co-founder Raj Rajaratnam…Rajaratnam got some of his illegal tips from Loeb, Goldman Sachs’s head of Asia equity sales in New York, defense attorney Gary Naftalis has said in court. The lawyer has argued to the jury that the “wrong man” is on trial…“This is an attempt to prove an alternative view of the underlying facts and blatant hearsay,” Judge Rakoff told Gupta’s lawyers.
As Goldman Sachs shrinks, its elite inner circle will also be getting smaller. The Wall Street firm is expected to name fewer than 100 new partners this fall, one of the smallest classes in recent years, according to people briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak on the record…The selection process for new […]
Supposedly summer cuts are under consideration at all firms.
Morgan Stanley is planning to eliminate about 100 trading jobs internationally in the next several weeks — with an unknown number of the cuts coming from New York. At Goldman, executives are likely to let the hatchet fall if the slowdown in trading doesn’t reverse itself, bank officials have said…Goldman is already cutting selectively among its middle-management ranks but could cut even deeper, sources explained. Goldman CFO David Viniar has told people that the firm may have to undergo a “right-sizing” again if the markets’ rocky road doesn’t improve, according to sources. And it’s not just Goldman and Morgan. Industry sources said that a number of other firms, including Citigroup and Barclays Capital, may also look to trim staff.
Goldman Sachs laid off about 50 people last week, according to people briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak on the record. The cutbacks have rattled some people in the firm, in part because a number of the employees were managing directors and on the higher end of Goldman’s pay scale.
We’re also told that “good performers, not dead weight” were among those cut, which must doubly sting.