Goldman Sachs Is Monitoring Junior Bankers TO BE SURE Taking Saturdays Off They’re
Last week, Goldman Sachs stunned Wall Street by announcing that it was making dramatic changes to its junior analyst program, including stimulating its overworked junior investment bankers to take weekends off. But nobody was more surprised by the visible changes than Goldman’s young bankers themselves. Now, with rules that reserve their Saturdays for “critical client activity,” the firm’s underlings are afraid they’re being marked for punishment if they work too hard.
According to one Goldman analyst, the firm’s junior bankers have been informed that unless they receive a special waiver, they aren’t supposed to set foot inside Goldman’s offices for an interval of 36 hours every weekend. The time will last from 9 p.m. Friday until 9 a.m. People near to the firm say that monitoring the work habits of junior experts isn’t designed to create a large Brother environment but merely to find out if this program is working.
“Our goal is to provide junior bankers better predictability and flexibility using their time,” Goldman spokesman David Wells told Daily Intelligencer. Instead, a week in, the rules seem to have created more questions than rest. Several current and previous banking experts said they weren’t sure if the new weekends-off guidelines were designed to be taken significantly, or if they were simply a publicity stunt that would be ignored in practice. They have questions about how the rules will be enforced as well. Will those who obey the rules and take Saturdays off be punished when it comes time to choose bonuses and promotions?
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Will older bankers just stuff a weekend well worth of work into Sundays? “Folks are figuring out what it all means still,” one analyst said. Part of the issue for Goldman is that it’s not only junior analysts whose behavior has been revised by the new rules. It’s the associates also, vice presidents, and handling directors who assign work to younger bankers, most of whom need to change their habits as well.
Some of the individuals who emerged to just work at Goldman came expressly because they wished to work themselves to the bone, and changing such a ingrained culture of overexertion is a structural challenge deeply. More likely is that Goldman is merely looking to keep its existing bankers from jumping ship, and make itself more desirable to recruits, if this means some short-term misunderstandings even.
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