All that glitters is Goldmans
Ask most people and they’ll tell you that Goldman Sachs is a name that seems to exude mystique and prestige. It has long been recognised globally as the foremost investment bank on Wall Street, and whilst its operations here in Australia are nowhere near the size as they are in the States, this is probably the investment bank here in Australia that most people would not pass up an opportunity to work for. King of the bulge brackets and with a respected brand name even outside of the IB space, Goldman Sachs are consistently in the top 3 investment banks here domestically.
We have heard that the Goldman Sachs culture is generally collaborative and even familial, though in an intense high-powered family sort of way. There is plenty of support for junior bankers and the resources and training here is top of the market. We hear graduates even get an all-expenses paid trip to the Big Apple (much like other US BBs).
At Goldman Sachs, you are hired because you fit a particular mould – smart, hard-working and highly motivated. You will be pushed past your comfort zone and it’s safe to say that your potential will be tested. Typically, you should see your days spanning from 9am to midnight – 2am. All this in the Goldmans name.
Traditionally, the trade off for having this name on your resume resulted in the ‘Goldman Discount’, where you would be paid less than if you were working at a competitor bulge bracket. Recently however, the firm has paid out relatively great compensation despite not doing so in the past. Let’s hope this keeps up.
Given its reputation, it comes as no surprise that Goldman Sachs has a list of great long-term clients and is able to land super deals on the regular. In terms of work quality, Goldmans is up there with the best. In 2021, the team had a particularly massive year, with mandates on the Sydney Airport and Oil Search’s takeovers, most of the big IPOs and the massive $6.3 billion placement for CSL.
Because of the great dealflow and perks, and the fact that bankers at Goldman think they are already at the best investment bank, attrition generally only happens for certain reasons here. This might range from being offered a huge promotion at a rival BB, moving to an elite boutique at the senior level or leaving for buy-side roles. All this to say, Goldman bankers that have committed to an investment banking career will generally hang around until they want a change of scene, and not because of the firm itself.