Strategy

Goldman Sachs Bumps Up Starter Salaries - Report

Editorial Staff, August 3, 2021

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Many junior Goldman Sachs staff have worked for months from home, not seeing colleagues in person, while operating at a time when deal-flow has been hectic. The situation highlights how the pandemic has put bankers under pressure, triggering debate on whether a return to "normal" is achievable and desirable.

Goldman Sachs is raising base pay for entry-level employees - first-year analysts - to $110,000, a nearly 30 per cent rise from the previous starting salary of $85,000, highlighting a battle for talent made more fraught by the pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Second-year analysts are set to make $125,000, up from $95,000. Salaries for first-year associates will jump to $150,000 from $125,000, the paper said, citing unnamed sources. 

The changes cover just over 1,000 employees world-wide.

The report did not make it clear if the pay hikes would affect Goldman Sachs employees in the wealth management side. Analysts and first-year associates work in various parts of the firm, such as investment banking, capital markets, asset management and others. The US firm declined to comment to Family Wealth Report about the article.

Many junior Goldman Sachs staff have worked for months from home, not seeing colleagues in person, while operating at a time when deal-flow has been hectic. David Solomon, the US firm’s chief executive, has gone on record stating that he wants staff to return to the office as soon as practicable, and described the pandemic-induced regime of working from home as “abnormal.”

The WSJ said that in a self-conducted survey earlier this year, Goldman Sachs’ first-year analysts reported that they were working an average of 95 hours a week and said job stress had harmed their physical and mental health. Goldman, in response, said it would hire additional bankers and enforce boundaries around working hours more strictly. The report added that the Wall Street firm lagged behind other firms in raising pay, but its starting salaries were above those of rivals. JP Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley increased pay for early-career bankers earlier in the summer.

A number of banks have moved to different working regimes, with some - such as Goldman Sachs - aiming for a broad return to pre-pandemic patterns, with others going for more "hybrid" approaches.

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