Goldman Sachs junior bankers complain of crushing workload amid SPAC-driven boom in Wall Street deals –

Goldman Sachs junior bankers complain of crushing workload amid SPAC-driven boom in Wall Street deals

A pedestrian passes 200 West Street, which houses the headquarters of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., in New York.

Scott Eells | Bloomberg | fake images

Goldman Sachs junior investment bankers are suffering from burnout from 100-hour workweeks and demanding bosses during a deal boom fueled by SPAC, according to an internal survey by a group of first-year analysts.

The increase in activity has seriously affected the mental and physical health of analysts since at least the beginning of the year, according to slides posted on social media and authenticated by people with knowledge of the matter.

“Lack of sleep, treatment by high-level bankers, mental and physical stress … I’ve been through foster care and this is possibly worse,” said a Goldman analyst, according to the February survey of 13 employees. .

“My body hurts physically all the time and mentally I’m in a really dark place,” said another analyst.

The slide show, packed with color-coded charts and formatted in the official style of an investment banking presentation book, was created after a group of disgruntled analysts from various teams came together to survey their colleagues, according to reports. persons. First-year analysts are typically recent college graduates and rank lowest in the Wall Street hierarchy; above them are associates, followed by vice presidents and CEOs.

Effect of Goldman Sacks on physical and mental health.

Source: Litquidiity | Instagram

The Wall Street model is to hire thousands of entry-level workers each year, often top-level graduates of higher-level universities, to create a talent pipeline and a workforce dedicated to the more mundane aspects of banking. investment. Junior bankers trade a strenuous workload for a salary that is higher than the average American salary and a chance to eventually win multi-million dollar compensation packages as a managing director.

Working conditions on Wall Street became a hot topic in 2013 after a Bank of America intern in London died after a spell of sleepless nights. Then the industry began to adopt sheltered weekends, in which junior employees could not work on Saturdays or Sundays without manager approval.

Still, despite the changes, the industry’s hard load culture remains. Goldman respondents called the conditions “inhumane” and said that working 110 hours a week often leaves only four hours a day for sleep and care.

While the survey was of a small sample of Goldman employees, the bank took their concerns seriously, the people said. Goldman executives met with employees last month and told them they were pushing the hiring of junior bankers to address the workload, they said. The bank has also transferred employees to reinforce busier teams and has been working to automate aspects of their jobs.

The 13 employees weren’t punished for creating the survey, a segment of which was posted this week on the Instagram account Litquidity, the people said.

“We recognize that our people are very busy, because business is strong and volumes are at historic levels,” said Nicole Sharp, a Goldman spokeswoman. “One year after COVID, it is understandable that people are quite stretched out, and that is why we listened to their concerns and took various steps to address them.”

In the immediate aftermath of a record year for Wall Street, the IPO market is on fire, fueled by insatiable demand for startups. That demand is being met by SPACs, or the blank check companies that companies used to go public, and SPAC’s $ 164 billion mergers so far this year have already surpassed the 2020 total, according to Dealogic.

The backlog of deals reached a record high in the first quarter, Goldman CFO Stephen Scherr said at a conference last week. Goldman is the world’s leading merger advisor, outperforming JPMorgan Chase in total deal volume and number of transactions.


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