Goldman Sachs discount - is it real?

DumbAndLazy's picture
Rank: Monkey | 34


I'm currently a junior at a non-target and am in the process of doing a ton of networking in preparation for the upcoming full-time recruiting process (IB). I'm currently interning at a PE firm in NYC and some guys I work under have generously offered to give me introductions to some people in their network. One of the places that I've been recommended to is GS which is awesome but, as you can tell by the name of this post, I have one concern.

I've had a few people (some reliable, some not) tell me that GS doesn't pay as much as other banks since the name of Goldman Sachs is so valuable that people won't mind coming to work for them for less money. Has anyone heard this as well? Do other banks do this, or is GS the only one that can really get away with it? I know this is sort of irrelevant since if I get an offer from them, I'm most likely going to accept it (which may be me unintentionally answering my own question).


Comments (22)

Apr 4, 2019

Its true but the difference in pay is minor and you shouldn't focus on it. Focus in getting an offer from a top BB or EBs (EBs will pay the most if that's what you're looking for).

Apr 4, 2019

I can speak for the UK.
The industry standard here is PS50,000
Goldman pays GBP50,000 so there isn't any "Goldman Discount" across the pond.

That being said, even if there is a discount it won't be too significant. What is GBP3k in the grand scheme of things? If you are good at your job, you can rise through the ranks and start making the big money!

Good luck!

Apr 4, 2019

They pay lower bonuses than most simialr shoos though. Also base for SA last year was lower than 50k afaik.

Apr 4, 2019

Typically the discount is in the bonuses. I have heard GS can have lower bonuses, but even if this is true it's going to be 10-15k and after tax that difference is pretty meaningless.

"If you ain't first, you're last!" - GOAT

Most Helpful
Apr 4, 2019

Don't live your life and make big decisions trying to maximize your first/second year Analyst pay. Do the best thing for your long term career, whether that's at Goldman or anywhere else.

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Apr 4, 2019

I appreciate the advice but I clearly said in my post that it won't influence my decision. I'm just asking questions.

Apr 4, 2019

Got it. Yeah, it's real, but it also doesn't matter. There is a BB discount as well since EB bonuses are generally materially higher. Doesn't mean the EB model is right for everyone.

Your head is in the right place, but you may (or may not) be surprised to learn that a lot of recruits make stupid short-term decisions based on pay.

    • 2
Apr 4, 2019

You'll get out in two years anyway.

Embrace the discount

Apr 8, 2019


Apr 9, 2019

Can speak on behalf of Australia.

GS pays 1st years AU$ 114k before bonus here, which is identical to what JPM pay.

Pay between EBs and BBs do not vary as greatly as in the US either.

Apr 9, 2019

It's real, and it's spectacular

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Apr 9, 2019

Yes. Base same, bonuses are lower, brand name is better, exit opps good, work life is better the EB in line with most BB (can be better in some groups).

Apr 10, 2019

Only have perspective on Goldman London:
Analyst & Associate: Base + Bonus pretty much in line with other BBs in London. Slightly lower than that of EBs.
VP: All in comp lower than most other BBs and EBs. However, the average time to VP is only like 5.5 years compared to up to 7.5 years at some other banks.

Apr 10, 2019

Worked with a former Goldman guy who told me he haircut was real. Didn't press him for details on the magnitude.

Apr 10, 2019

For 2019 summer associates in the US, GS base is 125k while the other BBs are 150k and some EBs are 160k.

Apr 10, 2019

You're doing an internship in April?

Apr 15, 2019

I go to a non-target in NYC. It's pretty common people at my school will work/intern during the semester.

Apr 14, 2019

Below applies at the analyst level. I'm also setting aside Centerview, which as far as I know is the only outlier on analyst pay.

I was fortunate enough to receive multiple full-time offers in college, so can say that the GS discount is not real on salary (as others have said). They pay street - as in, in-line with other bulge brackets. Elite boutiques will pay slightly more, but (as others have also said) this should not factor into your decision whatsoever. At most the difference is $10-15k salary, which is meaningless on a post-tax basis practically speaking.

My view on GS bonuses vs. other banks is less firm. Bonuses vary by bank, by group, and by year, and the only information I have on banks other than the one I worked at is second-hand so take this with a grain of salt. However, when I was in banking 2-3 years ago, the bonuses at GS were pretty much on par with other bulge bracket banks; the differences across banks were minor enough during my analyst stint that there are no outliers worth mentioning. Again, elite boutiques pay slightly more for bonuses.

GS might skimp a bit on how they comp interns (this might be how the "GS discount" concept got started), but if anyone makes the choice to accept/decline an offer based on 10 weeks of pay then I would firmly disagree with their reasoning. OP is clearly not in this camp, I'm just making the point that the decision of where to intern and, more importantly, begin your career full-time should not be based on comp (talking about bulge bracket and elite boutique banking analyst roles specifically, not other careers in finance and definitely not other industries). Extreme financial circumstances aside, you should be able to set yourself up well financially if your lifestyle is anything close to reasonable, and the differences in pay across banks is just not that large at the analyst level. There are factors to consider that will have a much larger impact on your analyst experience and beyond that should weigh more heavily in the decision.

Apr 15, 2019

"If you ain't first, you're last!" - GOAT