The curious Goldman division everyone wants to work for now

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So you want to work for Goldman Sachs? So does everyone else. And they especially want to work for Goldman Sachs' asset management division.

So says Andrew Wilson, GSAM’s chief executive in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Wilson has some hard figures to back his assertion up. In the last graduate recruitment round in Europe, he informs the Financial Times that 2,500 people applied for 40 graduate slots at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM): a ratio of 63 applicants per place.

That's a lot, especially when you consider that applicants to places for internships across Goldman Sachs as a whole totaled 49:1 in 2013 (the only year for which figures are available). Wilson suggests this might be because asset management has none of the social stigma associated with working in an investment bank: "Asset management has longevity, it has a very good social purpose [securing people’s retirement], and this plays to the whole millennial theme.” Nor is just 20-somethings looking for life purpose who want to work for GSAM. - Wilson says he's regularly approached by people from Goldman's investment bank who want to move across.

Separately, imagine a whole generation of financial services professionals fooled by a false representation of the future. This is what seemingly happened when Jim O'Neill, former chief economist at Goldman Sachs coined the term BRIC in 2001. The so-called 'BRIC' countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) were supposed to be the growth colossi of the future. Goldman supplemented O'Neil's original analysis with successive follow-up papers suggesting that 'being invested in the right emerging markets' would become an 'increasingly important strategic choice', and a generation of finance professionals focused on BRIC markets was born. It's unfortunate, therefore, that having lost 21% of its value over the past five years, Goldman's BRIC fund has just been quietly subsumed by its Emerging Markets Equity Fund as the firm tries to "optimize" its assets.

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Quote of the Day: 

"It’s absolutely true that older people can learn and are motivated to learn just as younger people are," dispelling myths around age and ageism.

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