Goldman Sachs managers have been supplying junior bankers working long hours with food hampers, paid for out of their own pockets, reports have suggested.
A leaked survey earlier this month showed that many younger Goldman Sachs staff in the US were working 95 hours a week and some had threatened to quit the firm over working hours, micromanagement and workplace abuse.
One respondent to the survey said: “I didn’t come into this job expecting a 9am-5pm’s, but I also didn’t expect consistent 9am-5am’s either.”
Subsequently, Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon told employees it was “great” that the junior analysts went to their management with concerns about their working conditions, but added that hard work brought rewards and that they needed to meet the challenges posed by high client demand.
Now, it is being reported that one-off hampers, full of fruit and snacks, are understood to have been paid for by managing directors out of their own pockets, since Goldman has not offered any company-wide gifts. The bank has not responded to media requests to comment on the claims.
This is in contrast to other companies in the financial sector that have provided employees with gifts ranging from gym equipment to large bonuses.
Jefferies offered 1,124 of its most junior staff benefits including subscriptions to Mirror workouts, free Peloton bikes worth nearly £2,000 and Apple watches. Meanwhile, investment bankers at Credit Suisse are getting a one-time $20,000 bonus for dealing with high workloads during the pandemic.
One Goldman Sachs staff member told the Guardian that the company should be doing more to recognise the demands placed on its lowest-ranking staff. “What we need is not a gesture from [managers], but from the firm,” they said. Another told the newspaper that each of the bank’s London teams has up to six people on sick leave for burnout at all times.
Soloman said Goldman Sachs would increase efforts to hire more junior bankers, transfer staff to overstretched teams, and toughen up the enforcement of a no-work-on-Saturday rule.
The market for junior bankers is thought to be particularly competitive at the moment with banks and other financial services firms vying for the best talent. However, Logan Naidu, CEO of London recruitment firm Dartmouth Partners, speaking to the eFinancial Careers website, said that the extent to which time-off rules – put in place in the wake of suicides of young bankers – were overridden suggested that banks still had significant issues with their culture: “You can put these rules in place, but it makes no difference if they’re not properly enforced.”