Plenty of people would still dearly, dearly love to work for Goldman Sachs, particularly in sales and trading. But it's possible their aspirations are misplaced: Goldman's place at the pinnacle of the markets business is in imminent danger of being occupied by JPMorgan.
In the first quarter of 2011, revenues from JPMorgan's sales and trading operations were $6.6bn. At Goldman Sachs they were also $6.6bn. But while Goldman's sales and trading revenues fell 22% year on year in the quarter, JPMorgan's fell only 4%.
Last week, Deutsche Bank analysts produced a note ruminating upon the ascension of JPMorgan's markets business. By their calculations, JPM's share of total trading revenues (excluding DVA/CVA impacts) among the top five US universal banks/brokers has been 24-26% over the past two quarters vs. 21- 22% over the prior three quarters before that.
While JPMorgan is therefore gaining share in sales and trading, Goldman Sachs is losing it.
This is particularly the case in fixed income, currencies and commodities, where JPMorgan's revenues totalled $5.2bn in Q1 and Goldman's revenues totalled just $3.8bn.
Moreover, while Goldman has been obliged to explain away the erosion of its FICC share as inevitable what with the abnormally favourable conditions it benefitted from back in Q1 2010, JPMorgan seems confident its increased revenues are here to stay.
"We came away more confident than ever that share gains in FICC trading are sustainable as management noted that strong relative trading results recently reflect the benefits of investment spend over the past couple of years," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote.
Two banks with equal sized businesses in revenue terms. One recently gaining market share. One recently losing. Which would you rather work for?