GS Analyst Survey Results

Liquidity dropped what all of us feel... the real question is does anything come of this? Do senior bankers change anything at all? Are analysts lucky to even be paid?

Mod Note (April 14, 2021) - Here are some related discussions showing how things have changed since the GS survey was released:

 

Obvisouly  — you get in then get out. What else?

You think I'm lying: I'm so fucking serious. GS or bust

 

I am curious for those in IB, what do you think about the quality of your work when you're hitting the 80-100 hour mark? My previous career was in public safety, I went back to school, and am breaking into the VC space. I get the cultural thing where... "it was this way for me...so it has to be this way for you rookie" mentality. Being sleep deprived as a firefighter, there would be times I was driving a fire engine at night and literally didn't know where I was or where I was going for a few moments.

From my reading and research, at a certain level of sleep deprivation, you are literally impaired mentally. This has been the same case with resident physicians, etc, who also work crazy long hours and can make mistake that can literally be life threatening. Why? Because culturally that what has been ingrained...only the toughest should get the privilege to practice, etc.

Surely there is a diminishing return on type/quality of work versus hours a week.... thoughts?

 

There's no question that long periods of sleep deprivation have a diminishing affect on work output. Especially with all the toxic levels of anxiety that are produced by that kind of mental exhaustion.  At a certain point, it has to be taking more and more time just to put out the same level of work, and I think that's where the diminishing returns come into play.  You end up taking 2 hours to do something that would have taken you 45 minutes with a sharp mind and 7 hours of sleep. 

One thing I will say, from my own experience as a firefighter, is the type of sleep deprivation in firefighting is far more sudden and unpredictable.  Sure, in IB you could have an MD ping you at the last second when you're about to hit the pillow at 2am for an emergency 2 hour fire drill, and that may be relatively unexpected.  But it's not a total shock to the system, its a long term compounding affect on your mental capacity. In firefighting, you're getting suddenly and violently awoken from a deep sleep cycle at 3 am by a 100 decible klaxon alarm to get up and immediately get behind the wheel of a 40 ton vehicle.  That is a much different beast than long term consistent sleep deprivation.  I remember being woken up for those late night calls at 3-4am and being so out of it I'd practically take a header down the stairs to the engine bay. The slow burn of IB can drive you insane, but it always felt like the acute shocks to the system in firefighting had much higher stakes.  

 

I agree wholeheartedly with you. However, the reason nothing is done about this is lean deal teams, less physicians improve margins. People going into IB wouldn't sacrifice their compensation for slightly fewer hours. If they would, they sure as hell would want to do something more fulfilling than investment banking 

 

I thought you guys had protected saturdays? What group are you in?

 

Not saying 

Protected Saturdays aren't enforced well and if they are they just an exception to policy and you work anyways.

Sunday is considered a normal working day too (calls at 9am, need to be responsive and ready grind till 2am etc)

Everyone in my group is depressed

 

agreed. im just upset this isnt UBS getting the attention..might actually cause something to change

its become employee abuse

nothing like submitting a time sheet for 100 hrs and getting staffed right after (this has happened to me)

 

Damn, what about the yoga mats and leaving the office at 7pm?
 

More seriously, I didn't know UBS was this hard, goodluck man.

 

people need to call out these banks by name.  UBS is a sweatshop right now (wasn't before WFH).

I am looking to leave ASAP.  my entire group wants to leave.  the staffers have no power to change it

if the bank doesnt do something immediately to stop the 100hr weeks they will see insane turnover (and good luck with the new laterals you hope to hire...)

 

Culture in this group was actually pretty solid where analysts and associates were staffed on 1 live deal at a time with no other work (like books for meetings) but hours were 80-ish when on a deal. However, once the deal closed, you were only staffed on non-urgent / non-deal things for at least 3-4 months during which hours were 60-70 max, with many weeks being less. Seniors and juniors were all pretty nice and respectful as well (save for 1-2 seniors who were still way better than at many places with terrible cultures). 

However, since COVID, the group specifically the TMT team has been extremely crushed. All semblance of a culture has disappeared to the point where if you don't send a farewell email, no one will have even known or cared if you left. Any semblance of group infrastructure or templates that the group has tried to maintain has retreated several steps as both analysts and associates are so jammed that they don't have time to worry about it, leading to the recreation of several materials and analyses whose PPT and Excel back-ups could never be found on the drive. Even after the NY and SF groups decided to merge to help with the deal flow, things have been very bad. The NY team had much fewer hours than the SF team but now are working just as hard at 100+ hours. And yes, all juniors are getting staffed on workstreams even though they all put 100+ hours on their timesheets. While I know all the people in our group are nice people, the strong deal flow has forced all seniors and juniors to work non-stop. Even Saturday policies (which used to be heavily monitored) are now often ignored or the work has been so much that though we are not supposed to work on Saturdays, many analysts and associates are forced to work so they don't fall behind on Sundays. Since bonuses hit recently, people have been leaving so much that every week, someone is sending out at least one farewell email.

BTW, associates are getting as crushed as analysts as we often have to split up the work with the analyst or completely do it for them given how busy they already are themselves. While I don't think associates should not be opening Excel and PPT files, it is very clear that analysts are so crushed that associates have no choice but to turn comments and help out in a significant way. 

As someone who considers themselves a veteran of the group based on tenure, it's insane to see what COVID has done to the group's dynamics. I've also heard that there is no way there will be a full return to the office until 2022 and MDs will not be returning to the office given they believe they do not need to be in the office as their business is revenue generation. So expect another year of back-to-back Zoom meetings and getting staffed on three live deals at least regardless if you are an analyst or associate. 

 
Controversial

It's 13 Analysts griping about the job to each other and publishing the results on GS PPT headers. This wasn't some sort of broad HR survey, and if it was, they certainly wouldn't have "selected" those quotes. Not diminishing the truth of it, but absolutely nothing will come of this other than probable disciplinary action against whoever created and leaked that document. 

EDIT: People MS'ing me have never spent any time actually working for a bank. This sort of feedback has existed since the dawn of time. Yes, it's worse right now, and I'm not arguing against that. But GS HR is not going to call this kid into and office and pat him on the back for creating a document like this on company letterhead and sending it to a public meme account.

 

gufmo

It's 13 Analysts griping about the job to each other and publishing the results on GS PPT headers. This wasn't some sort of broad HR survey, and if it was, they certainly wouldn't have "selected" those quotes. Not diminishing the truth of it, but absolutely nothing will come of this other than probable disciplinary action against whoever created and leaked that document. 

How are they gonna catch it? Think it’s probably fairly hard to identify who made it

 

13 Analysts is like half of one group. 90% of you people were Econ majors. You took statistics classes. If you actually polled however many Analysts GS actually has (hundreds), it would settle somewhere in the comfortable middle, with comments that HR could cherry pick to make it seem no worse than normal. And that's not because things aren't worse than normal, it's because most people, if surveyed, will not skewer their employer because they know their employer can see their individual response.

Take this for what it is. A couple like-minded Analysts who have been getting railed that wanted to air their grievances on Instagram for fun. This is not some scandal that is going to change anything in this industry for the better. 

 

nope, it was a real survey by a staffer in one of their larger offices. and yes, getting worked to shit is what people sign up for in banking, but its been unusually awful at a lot of shops during covid. right after the pandemic started everyone was running around like the sky was falling. then, they realized the world wasn't going to end, they were in the back half of the year having done zero deals, and panicked and started fucking the junior staff to make things happen and it hasn't really stopped.

 

Underrated comment. I was in a group with horrible hours and got absolutely destroyed year one. None of us had any time at all to recruit and it was miserable. I still can't imagine spending the time to put this information together and make actual bar charts. What's really going on is that the awful working conditions are just a lot less bearable when you're doing it alone from your apartment. Has nothing to do with the bank, it's WFH (no communal meals with other analysts, limited human interaction, etc.).  

 

Its just TMT analysts in SF that were surveyed. The doc was circulated internally last week for a bit until GS blocked sharing it. Funny it was posted almost a full week later. I told someone who got it to take pics on their phone and send to NY Post under NDA for $$.

 

Work at a different bank, but can echo that the hours and the stress are the same. Since January it's been completely crashing and it's a month than i'm north of 100hrs per week. The saddest thing is that you / your team start hoping deals do not go through as we're all well above our max capacity. 

They say learning curve is steep, which is true. Anyway once you're so tired you don't learn any longer. That's at least what I'm experiencing