Goldman Sachs #2 Overall, Citi Is a Boiler Room, and SocGen Is the Pits

This might come as a shock to some of you, but the people who work at Goldman Sachs are pretty happy about it. Glassdoor.com released an industry-wide report card on Friday, and not only did Goldman Sachs rank #2 in overall employee satisfaction (behind Susquehanna International Group), but CEO Lloyd Blankfein received a 97% approval rating. Among the BB's, Citi was at the bottom in employee satisfaction, and one industry insider described it to TheStreet.com as a boiler room. Ouch.

He says JPMorgan Chase is also considered one of the best places to work. Citigroup is considered a "boiler shop," and Morgan Stanley "gets good marks" but isn't entirely up to snuff.
Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and UBS were all fairly high on the list, while Citigroup was close to the bottom. Employees only report "dissatisfaction" with four businesses: AXA Advisors, First Data, Sallie Mae and Société Générale, with SocGen rounding out the bottom of the entire list.

So why are Goldmanites the happiest campers on the Street? Well, there's the money of course. Goldman Sachs has one of the highest compensation-to-revenue ratios on the Street, topping out over 40%. Aside from that, though, employees say it's actually a decent place to work, and is staffed with Wall Street's best and brightest.

Poor Citi, though. You have to feel bad for those guys. On a scale of 1-5, employees' faith in senior leadership registered an abysmal 2.5, and employee morale was only slightly higher at 2.7 (compared to Goldman's 3.9 and 4.1, respectively). I know what it's like to work in a miserable environment (hell, I know what it's like to work in a boiler room), and it makes for some long days, weeks, and months.

Do you agree with your bank's (or another bank's) ranking? Disagree? Is Goldman Sachs really the promised land?

Comments (12)

12y
thegrackle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nice. I bet things would have been different if there was no SEC settlement though

Let n be a fixed positive integer greater than 1...

12y
someotherguy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I call BS on this. When I was there, GS seemed to have fairly miserable employees. Everyone was there to get their golden goose, and that was about it. There is no such thing as work/life balance there, unless you consider throwing your son a baseball with your right hand and having a blackberry in your left as "balance." I think this is the GS PR machine working its magic.

12y
Warp, what's your opinion? Comment below:
someotherguy:
I think this is the GS PR machine working its magic.

I've always been puzzled by that. I have friends in many banks. Most of them sometimes complain: "I'm working too much", "They try to give lower-than-the-market salary to 1st year analysts", "The bonuses are too low"... But all my friends working at GS never complained. Most of them are doing tough hours (even in S&T). But they never, ever, complain. However I don't believe that full comp at GS is so much higher than at, say, JPM. The only conclusion I tend to reach when explaining this behaviour and "GS PR magic", is that the difference is made during the recruitment process. Those guys are really loyal to the firm. More than my other friends (who also have good positions in good BBs). This is a personality trait/quality/flaw that must be especially sought after by GS recruiters. Perhaps more importantly than brightness (since there are a lot of bright guys anyway).

I can't really think of any other explanation.

12y
Frabjous, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Don't know much about GS, but speaking about Citi, I can understand the low rating. The place is a mess, and even though the people are nice enough (the teams I know, at least), there's a general sense of helplessness (does this word evene exist?). Basically, Citi failed to upgrade their coordination infrastructure in the boom years, focusing instead of further diversification, had to cut a lot during the recession, and now they have the most maddening, disfunctioning, bureaucratic "organization" I have ever seen...and people either lack the energy to try and improve it, or face obstacles.

12y
moneyneversleeps2, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't think it's a PR stunt. Most reviews are anonymous so the people giving positive reviews genuinely like the bank. I think compensation has alot to do with it. Salaries are a good 20% higher (most of the time) to begin with and if you go in, work your butt off, prove yourself to the right people, GS doesn't think twice about upping your comp package to keep you.

Best Response
12y
Winnfield, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm not really sure like for like comparisons can be made. How can you compare the average employee feedback for massive, universal money-center banks like JPM and Citi, to trading houses like GS or white-shoe IBs like MS? Not to mention that the average experience of a retail banker, corporate banker, investment banker and trader are all completely different. I know that the article distinguishes between categories, but in casual conversation that distinction is likely to be lost. Finally, have you ever been on Glassdoor? The vast majority (or a sizable enough minority) of the feedback is coming from the Back Office IT folks, not the credit derivatives traders.

The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
  • 3
12y
Solidarity, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sounds like I'm reiterating some previously expounded-upon points, but:

Glassdoor is a fucking joke

They still list IBD 1st years at BB's making 55-65k all-in. Are you kidding me? I question their metrics and the site in general. How does the website sustain itself? I've seen a huge range in salaries alone and all the directors/EVP's are making 150-175k all-in? Okay, so bonus at all?

That site loses all credibility in my eyes.

12y
Seahawks7777, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Glassdoor works less well for ibanking pay, since keeping your mouth shut about your bonus is important there. If you give out your exact bonus and your MD sees this online, you get fired. This creates hesistancy to discuss bonus pay online. So Glassdoor shows Goldman Analysts making 60K a year in base pay, but then shows only a few people making any additional bonus. I think the base pay is probably right, but a lot of guys are hiding their bonus pay to evade VP/MD detection.

For fields where bonuses are small, it's more reliable as a site.

12y
ccmonopolies, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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