There was a time when most MDs at Goldman Sachs had one thing in common: they were all generating big revenues for the bank. One ex-managing director (MD) at Goldman recently told us revenue generation was the only reason he was promoted (“I don’t share values with most people at GS”). However, Goldman’s brand new list of 2015 MDs suggests generating revenues is less important than it used to be.
Of the 425 people on the 2015 list, the Financial Times reports that 135, or 32%, work on non-revenue generating roles in ‘the federation’ – Goldman’s name for things like internal audit, technology and compliance. The last time Goldman Sachs promoted MDs in 2013 (when there were only 280 people on the list) just 28% were federation staff. Non-revenue generators are inveigling their way in.
Who are they? This year’s MD list includes people like Alexis Vassilakas, head of the ‘Central Industrialization Group’, which develops technology to render Goldman more efficient. There’s also Jenny Meng, chief risk officer and CFO at Goldman Sachs Gao Hua in Beijing, Manju Madhavan, a ‘firmwide strategist’ in New York, Teresa Kingwood, head of commodities technology in London, or Jennifer Krevitt, global head of human capital management for the investment management division in New York.
There are a few curiosities among revenue generating promotions too. Take Tim Quandt, a Goldman investment banker who quit the firm in 2010 to found a fund of private equity funds, only to come back three years later and just earn a promotion a few years later.
Separately, no one is safe. Equities salespeople and traders may have had a good year, but that doesn’t mean they’ll fall foul of banks’ attempts to cut costs. Financial News reports that Nomura has put 16 traders, or 5% of its equities division in London at risk of being laid off.
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20% of Goldman’s new MD class have worked in multiple regions. 30% have worked in multiple Goldman Sachs divisions.
MDs, one rung below the ultimate prize of partnership, will now comprise 6.7 per cent of people at Goldman, down from 7.4 per cent in 2014.
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