Hundreds of fresh college graduates will descend upon Goldman Sachs the following month as newly minted investment bankers. One question they’ll all ask themselves: What do I wear to work at the best bank or investment company in the world? Goldman Sachs announced that it calms its dress code lately. 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 retaining its young investment bank skill who are leaving in droves, an unlucky reality for all those 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 is still the most sought-after job, so Goldman has its got of the greatest and the brightest. Newly-minted analysts called Financial Analysts receives an unmatched degree of financial training and is paid in the top 0.1% of most college graduates on the planet. However they are bolting, 12 months often leaving after only one, and senior management at Goldman is clearly stressed about it.
Hedge money and Private Equity – Goldman’s main competition – offer the prospect of riches that Goldman could offer only before their IPO. And worse for Goldman and other banking institutions even, these alternatives offer a better lifestyle. More free weekends. Fewer all-nighters. For the young, ambitious, and numerate highly, Wall Street is approximately getting very rich, and the best place to do that is no longer at the investment banks like Goldman.
Making matters 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 fall and rise the elevators every day,” so they have all tried before to staunch the bleeding with various lifestyle initiatives, but none spent some time working. For example, many banking institutions forbid experts to come to the office on Saturdays unless focusing on a live deal.
This was intended to reduce hours, but in practice, analysts continue to work from home. Other initiatives require client presentations never surpass a certain variety of slides, say 30 or 40. But this leads bankers to ask their experts for “backpocket decks” – unbound, unofficial presentations. Experts make these decks regularly, often exceeding 100 pages. Senior bankers across Wall Street give pep talks to their young bankers frequently, telling analysts that if they stay in their magic banking chairs until they may be middle-aged just, wealth will follow. However, the elephant in the room at these sessions is the tacit admission that investment banking is no more the most compelling way to personal wealth on Wall Street.
Ignored in Goldman’s recent initiative is the reputation that my generation came to Wall Street for the same reason as all those who came before us: it is where in fact the money is. And whether in a suit and tie up or Allbirds and Bonobos, ambitious millennials will look for the optimal way to riches – and it is no longer investment banking. Remember the Stanford mindset experiment in which a scientist would give a child a marshmallow with instructions that if he didn’t eat it for fifteen minutes, he’d get two?