Finance

Goldman Sachs CEO Solomon promises to beef up junior ranks after scathing survey

Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon has promised to beef up its junior ranks and protect at least one day off a week after a group of analysts highlighted 100-hour weeks and burnout.

Solomon told staff in a voice message on Sunday that the firm would be more diligent about enforcing so-called protected Saturdays, when juniors are not expected to work from 9pm on Friday until 9am on Sunday.

He said he would also hire more resources into areas feeling the strain. Financial News reported on 18 March that the bank would reinforce the protected Saturday rule, hire more juniors, automate work where possible and be more selective about taking on work where analysts were already overworked.

READ Citi’s new plan to ease junior banker stress would limit pitchbooks to 15 pages

“Let me say to everyone, and in particular to our analysts and associates: We recognise that people working today face a new set of challenges,” said Solomon. “In this world of remote work, it feels like we have to be connected 24/7. All of us— your colleagues, your managers, our divisional leaders—we see that. We’re here to provide support and guidance. This is not easy, and we’re working hard to make it better.”

READ ‘I’m in a dark place’: Leaked Goldman Sachs survey shows just how stressful it is being a junior banker

Thirteen Goldman Sachs analysts released a 11-page presentation outlining 100-hour weeks, declining physical and mental health and strain that would lead many to quit the bank. The report details the gruelling working life of a junior banker, which has been exacerbated by a surge in deal activity during the first quarter of 2021.

Solomon praised the analysts for going to their managers and said Goldman strives to create a culture where staff can “share concerns freely”.

“In the months ahead, there are times when we’re going to feel more stretched than others, but just remember: If we all go an extra mile for our client, even when we feel that we’re reaching our limit, it can really make a difference in our performance,” he added.

Reuters first reported Solomon’s message.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Paul Clarke

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