Goldman Sachs Is (Not) A Tech Company

Can we stop with this already?
Author:
Publish date:

Pop Quiz.

What do Tinder, Domino's Pizza and Goldman Sachs have in common?

In addition to all playing key roles in the demise of the Greek economy (you know what you did, Tinder), it turns out that they are all also all tech companies.

It's true! Just ask Business Insider...

And believe it or not, Goldman has more programmers and engineers working on tech matters than Facebook.
According to Goldman's tech team members who spoke with Business Insider, of about 33,000 full-time employees at the bank, 9,000 of them are engineers and programmers.

That's a lot of techies for one company, but there's got to be some perspective here that demonstrates a realistic comparison between Goldman and Facebook.

Facebook's total payroll, which includes non-tech personnel, consisted of 9,199 workers as of the last day of 2014, it said in its annual filing with the SEC. That number includes the many non-tech employees who are there to support and sell the product.

Oh snap! Facebook is so puny. It must just be an ocean of embarrassment over in Silicon Valley, where Facebook employees focusing on building or marketing their tech product are now realizing their comparative insignificance.

But it's not just Facebook, the whole tech scene is getting crushed by Silicon Lloyd and his growing horde of programmers.

Goldman's 9,000 also eclipse the entire payrolls of Twitter, which has 3,638 employees, and LinkedIn, which has 6,897 employees. Facebook and Twitter don't offer breakdowns of their staffs. In its filings, LinkedIn reveals that more than half of the employees work in non-tech functions including sales, marketing, and general and administrative capacities.

Oh Twitter, that's gotta hurt. #Oof, amirite?

On the other hand, the 24,000 Goldman employees that work in a strata of support roles to market and support the company's apps and stuff must be so psyched to work at a powerful tech company.

What's that you say, reality? Aside from the ongoing development of an unreleased messaging product, Goldman techies work mostly on internal stuff like security software and building proprietary platforms that make regulatory compliance easier for the company's armies of investment bankers and traders.

So, wait, maybe Goldman isn't a "tech company" tech company. But then why does it need all of this top programming talent?

The massive on-boarding of tech talent shows just how seriously investment banks regard technology as a means of security and infrastructure. It also highlights the needs of the financial services industry at a time when programming talent is at a premium in numerous sectors.
In New York, it's a common complaint of venture capitalists and CEOs that the cream of the technology crop is regularly scooped up by Wall Street.

Oh, so maybe Goldman is just a massive financial services institution in the the year 2015 that recognizes the importance of how technology affects its various multi-billion-dollar-generating business units and has the money to poach the creme de la creme of tech talent that would rather cash in at the most powerful private entity in the world rather than take a huge risk on some half-baked startup idea?

In fact, maybe we're wildly overusing the term "tech company," like its a fad that is about to reach its inflection point of usefulness. A fad to which even Goldman Sachs is not immune.

"Every year, Lloyd would give the tech division an annual speech, saying how we were a tech company," a former Goldman Sachs engineer said to Business Insider.

Well, if a CEO of Goldman Sachs says it, we need to take it as truth.

Related