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Morning Coffee: Goldman says it rejects 96% of applicants. Banks have hiring freezes in London

Odds are not in your favour.

Thinking of applying for a job at Goldman Sachs? The chances are that your application will be as effective as an umbrella in a time of smog: most people who apply to Goldman Sachs are wasting their time.

In their annual shareholder letter, released today, Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn. Goldman's CEO and COO respectively, say the bank received 43,000 applications for 1,900 analyst positions last year. 4% of applicants were accepted; 96% were rejected. When you apply to Goldman Sachs, the odds are not in your favour. There are a lot of Goldman Sachs rejects out there.

Worse, when you apply for your fantasy future at Goldman Sachs it's increasingly likely that you will not be working in the firm's London or New York offices and making stacks of money, but that you will be relegated to Salt Lake City or Mumbai, providing support services to the well-paid bankers in New York and London. Cohn and Blankfein say that 25% of Goldman's workforce is currently located in Salt Lake City, Mumbai and Singapore, up from 10% in 2007. And 38% of all the firm's campus [university] hires now go to these locations.

Separately, it seems that banks have indeed imposed hiring freezes in London. Deutsche Bank denied that it had a 'soft hiring freeze' when we asked about it back in early March, but recruitment firm Astbury Marsden seems to be finding recruitment frigid across the market. Astbury Marsden chief executive Jonathan Nicholson told the Financial Times that hiring freezes at investment banks have, "helped interrupt the recent recovery in the City jobs market.” Astbury Marsden still thinks there were 2,640 new finance jobs available in London in March (down 18% on February). It estimates that there were 8,620 people chasing those jobs. That makes three candidates per role. The good news is that not every banking job is as difficult to attain as a trainee position at Goldman Sachs, no matter how frozen things are.


Goldman Sachs will not be pulling back from FICC trading. (Quartz) 

Richard Woolnough, top bond fund manager at the Pru, earned £17.5m last year. Woolnough, who was born in Chesterfield in 1964, describes his job as "somewhere between an intellectual challenge and a game." (Guardian)  

Brady Dougan only earned £6.6 million last year. (The Times) 

The Bank of England says British companies are preparing to engage in M&A. (Telegraph) 

Sir Simon Robertson, Simon Robey and Simon Warshaw – also known as the “three Simons”, are splitting their Simon-heavy M&A boutique in two. (Financial Times)

Anya Weaving, an oil and gas M&A banker at BAML, has moved in house for a corporate role as chief financial officer at FTSE 250-listed oil and gas exploration group Soco International. (Financial News) 

Morgan Stanley has hired a new co-head of EMEA leveraged finance from Goldman Sachs. (Businessweek) 

The 52 year old female stalker who sent Stephen Hester a vial of poison has been ordered to stay away from directors at RBS for the foreseeable future. (The Times)

Everything you’ve ever needed to know about the dead pets of Bill Gross.(Pimco)  

Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse are all nice to women. (Opportunity Now) 

Related articles:

How to get ahead in banking by Blythe Masters, Ruth Porat. Hedge funds that are hiring

Long term, you’ll make more in banking if you didn’t go to a target school. The vulnerability of Credit Suisse

A personality test that can predict your income. JPMorgan’s colourful attempt to attract staff

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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