The hours may be rough, and that damn ladder climb seemingly endless, but junior bankers at Goldman Sachs will soon be compensated with a handsome pay raise for their
The Wall Street establishment is reportedly bumping its base pay for first-year analysts from US$85,000 to US$110,000 – certainly not bad for fresh uni graduates. Second-year analysts will also be receiving a tidy increase, leaving the US$95,000 starting figure in the rear view mirror for a rather comfortable US$125,000. And just so first-year associates get a bit of love, they’ll be enjoying US$150,000 from here on out, having previously earned US$125,000.
The bank also plans to fatten some packets come bonus season, with the exact amounts to be defined later this month, according to a person with direct knowledge of the coming changes; obviously scaling upwards based on the employee’s rank within the organisation.
“When appropriate, we make sure our salaries are competitive,” says David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, during an earning conference call a month prior to the pay raise announcement.
“So we continue to thrive by having the best people here and paying them appropriately, especially when we perform. We’re performing.”
Some of you are probably wondering why the generosity and why now. For those who managed to escape the headlines back in March, an internal investigation (unsurprisingly) revealed that junior bankers at Goldman Sachs were copping the shit end of the stick, while the entire industry was booming with deals signed off practically every second day.
Just about every stereotype associated with the overworked finance grad you could possibly imagine were confirmed by the survey’s findings (essentially a direct copy-paste from HBO’s Industry): “inhumane” 110-hour work weeks, concerning burnout rates, demanding superiors issuing red hot “pls fix” emails well after clock-off time, a whole host of other abuse, steep declines in quality of life.
“The sleep deprivation, the treatment by senior bankers, the mental and physical stress… I’ve been through foster care and this is arguably worse,” one anonymous contributor submitted.
“There was a point where I was not eating, showering, or doing anything else other than working from morning until after midnight,” writes another.
“My body physically hurts all the time and mentally I’m in a really dark place.”
In response to the findings, rival financial institutions immediately saw an opportunity to improve their own PR, introducing everything from $20,000 special bonuses to Peloton bikes (“work-life balance) and so forth. Goldman Sachs, however, bucked the trend of handing out both pay rises and perks – despite the multi-trillion dollar evidence that they could afford to be shell out a little extra.
Instead, CEO David Solomon assured the worker bees more bankers would be hired to lighten the load, menial tasks would be automated, as well as the company’s recommitment to the “Saturday Rule”, wherein productivity between 9 PM Friday and 9 AM Sunday is prohibited, thereby ensuring the everyday battler could kick back and reset over the weekend (except in certain circumstances).
In a strange twist of fate, after all the resistance and grounding of feet, Goldman Sachs hasn’t just met the standard for inflated junior banker salaries – they’ve actually gone ahead and lived up to Solomon’s claims about being competitive; shooting beyond the the likes of Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and Citigroup by a healthy margin. For reference, the aforementioned firms boosted first-year analyst salaries from approximately US$85,000 to US$100,000.
Whether they’ll step up to match Goldman Sachs now is unclear.
Check out the hierarchy of Wall Street watches as told by the paragon of finance-comedy, Goldman Sachs Elevator, in the extensive + entertaining guide here.