Here's a factoid. Google pulls in $1.25 million per employee. Goldman Sachs: $890,000 per worker. That's a 40 percent difference!
Keep that in mind as you read these comments from an address given by Goldman's soon-to-be CFO Marty Chavez – brought to light by Business Insider – as he describes for Harvard students why “Goldman is for risk what Google is for search”:
Here's how Chavez described Google in his presentation: "Google produces software services, and those software services aggregate the attention of billions of people, and then Google sells the attention of billions of people to advertisers."
And here's how he described Goldman Sachs: "A client has a risk they don't want or wants a risk they don't have, and we make it happen for them. This is the fundamental truth of Goldman Sachs. If the clients stop calling and talking to us about risks they have but don't want or want but don't have, then we have no business whatsoever."
You might quibble with the finer points of the comparison, but there's one big difference that stands out: People call Goldman employees all the time. Nobody calls Google. Chavez wants the one to be more like the other. Rather than each client having a different point of contact for every need, Chavez imagines a single brain stem at the center of Goldman that receives requests and automatically provides the appropriate services. Like a Google search bar.
It's an innovative and forward-thinking vision that should terrify anyone at Goldman who answers a phone – which at present isn't an insubstantial number. For a glimpse of the future, concerned Goldmanites might spend a few moments pondering this statement:
"We're turning all of the verbs, all of the activities at Goldman Sachs, into APIs," Chavez said. "One of the things we're insisting on is a very high standard of lovely and impeccable documentation for these APIs, because we're opening up the vertical monolith which used to have only one API point, which was human beings on the phone."
Goldman Sachs wants to become the Google of Wall Street [Business Insider]