Goldman Sachs has come out and said it – junior bankers are the best. As Wall Street struggles to keep hold of analysts fleeing to the buy-side, 23-year-old bankers have had their pay ramped up and their working hours (relatively) lightened.
The recruitment and retention of juniors is “the most important thing we do”, said Richard Gnodde, co-CEO of Goldman Sachs International and co-head of its investment banking division during a podcast on capital markets in Europe and Asia. Banks have to “evolve with the marketplace” and think about work-life balance of analysts, increase diversity and shake up the “content” of the job to make it more appealing to the younger generation.
Not that Gnodde is suggesting that banking is in any way dull. “It’s one of the most exciting careers for young people, it offers real responsibility and opportunity at an early stage of your career,” he said. After a couple of years, you’ll be trading, or sitting in client meetings that will result in deals that could easily end up on the front page of the FT or Wall Street Journal.
“The quality of the people, the quality of the client base and other important rewards that make for a successful career are all there and rival any industry out there,” he said encouragingly.
He also reiterated the fact that a UK exit from the EU would be bad for Goldman Sachs’ London operation and bad for the City of London. There are 6,000 Goldman employees in London, or 90% of its European headcount, he says but just 30% of its revenues in the region come from the UK.
Not surprisingly, jobs would leave – a lot of client-facing roles would head to the Eurozone, but trading businesses could (perhaps) stay in London. However, a “significant proportion” of its employees would move.
Separately, of the six billionaires minted at Glencore when the firm went public in 2011, only three remain. The share price has tanked – it’s lost 70% since floatation – and half of its executives have fallen out of the billionaires club. Chief executive Ivan Glasenburg had a stake worth $9.4bn in 2011. It’s worth $2.8bn now.
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