Hundreds of fresh college graduates will descend upon Goldman Sachs the following month as recently minted investment bankers. One question they will all ask themselves: What do I wear to just work at the best bank or investment company in the world? Goldman Sachs announced that it relaxed its dress code recently. CEO David Solomon said: “this is the right time to go to a.
Why is Goldman making such a big change now? This new “lifestyle initiative” is aimed at keeping its young investment bank talent who are leaving in droves, a regrettable reality for many big investment banks who make massive investments in recruiting and training young bankers. But this initiative, like others that preceded it, will fail.
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For college elderly people headed to Wall Street, Goldman continues to be the most sought-after job, so Goldman has its got of the best and the brightest. Newly-minted experts called Financial Analysts receive an unmatched level of financial training and are paid in the very best 0.1% of most college graduates on earth. But they are bolting, season often departing after only 1, and senior management at Goldman is clearly stressed about it.
Hedge funds and Private Equity – Goldman’s main competition – provide potential customer of riches that Goldman could offer only before their IPO. And even worse for Goldman and other banks, these alternatives offer a better lifestyle. More free weekends. Fewer all-nighters. For the young, ambitious, and highly numerate, Wall Street is approximately getting very rich, and the best spot to do that is no longer at the investment banks like Goldman.
Making issues tougher for Goldman, the companies poaching their talent typically don’t hire right out of college. They wait – like bears at a salmon run for banks to do their training for them -, and they pounce then, leaving Goldman as well as others with a crater of lost investment in human capital. All investment banks accurately say that their “assets go up and down the elevators every day,” so they have all tried before to staunch the bleeding with various lifestyle initiatives, but none has worked. For example, many banks forbid experts to come to the office on Saturdays unless focusing on a live deal.
This was intended to reduce hours, however in practice, analysts continue to work from home. Other initiatives require client presentations, not to exceed a certain quantity of slides, say 30 or 40. But this leads bankers to ask their analysts for “backpocket decks” – unbound, unofficial presentations. Analysts make these decks regularly, exceeding 100 pages often. Senior bankers across Wall Street give pep foretells their young bankers frequently, telling analysts that if they stay in their magic banking chairs until they may be middle-aged just, wealth shall follow. However, the elephant in the area at these sessions is the tacit admission that investment banking is no longer the most compelling path to personal wealth on Wall Street.
Ignored in Goldman’s recent effort is the recognition that my era came to Wall Street for the same reason as all those who emerged before us: it is where in fact the money is. And whether in a suit and tie or Allbirds and Bonobos, ambitious millennials will seek out the optimal path to riches – which is no more investment banking. Remember the Stanford psychology experiment where a scientist would provide a child a marshmallow with instructions that if he didn’t eat it for a quarter-hour, he’d get two?