Goldman Sachs PWM

Just got an email out of the blue asking if I wanted to interview for a PWM position on Dallas (not quite equities, but...) Couple of questions:

1. How has Goldman's PWM business grown lately? A lot of the "rank these firms!" threads I've dug up via search tell me conflicting things. 2007-era threads tell me GS/MS are tops. Later on I hear UBS/CS are becoming elite, and then I hear JPM is the only place to be. Help? Not concerned about "prestige" as much as the level of company support and AUM.

1b. For that matter, what is the PWM equivalent term of "AUM"? Wealth under management / WUM?

2. I'm an "experienced" professional interviewing for an analyst role (FA) - what will they focus more on, my fit or my knowledge of the industry?

Note that PWM is actually where I want to be, and I'm not just prestige-whoring on GS.
Thanks!

Comments (59)

Feb 25, 2014

1) Different business models, so it depends.
1b) net new assets
2) no clue, my MBA interviews (got to GS/CS superdays) focused on pitching more than anything else, head of GS literally told me they want someone with the right DNA before my superday (meaning they want someone who was born to pitch)

Feb 25, 2014
Viktri:

1) Different business models, so it depends.

Could you elaborate on this?

Jun 14, 2017

Could you elaborate on this? What kind of pitches do they generally ask you?

B.R.

Feb 25, 2014

PWM at GS is very different from your branch financial advisors at UBS, etc. The GS PWM minimum account size is $10m and I believe the average account size ~$25m. Check the WSO Firms list. I recently posted an interview insight for GS PWM. From what I have heard, they pay quite well, not IB pay, but very great pay for Dallas, Philly, DC, etc.

EDIT: And yes, you will have to know a lot about markets and pitching.

    • 1
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Feb 25, 2014

Thanks - insightful. Yeah, when I heard the salary for the Dallas position I was frankly shocked.
Do you get any kind of commission on top or is it pure salary?

Jun 14, 2017

Wish I saw this earlier since a lot of your posts have been very helpful to my career decisions.

I worked as an intern in a regional GS PWM office in 2012.

I couldn't see those specific links you asked about but your description of the roles is spot on. The thing about FIPs is that they tend to interact with clients as well and stay on top of the markets more than the PWAs to answer client questions on the fly. They try to avoid the analyst related work such as putting together pitch books and booking a conference room for a client meeting. Sometimes they have to based on how a team is put together but for the most part they want to serve the clients' finance related needs whereas WMPs and FAs for the most part will serve the client service related needs. Its common for a PWA to hop on the phone with a client and the FIP also be listening in and potentially contributing to the conversation. If the client wants to know if he should be writing calls to hedge his weak position in FB the PWA will be expecting the FIPs to have a good answer as to why that suggestion is good or bad based on whats going on in the markets, gs research etc... PWAs are known for growing their business whereas FIPs, WMPs and FAs are known for sustaining it. FIPs and WMPs receive part of the team's GCs(money made off of client fees) that's why they put up with the support role and are content. They still make under firm average with VP WMPs making $100Kish where as Associate FIPs make $130K+. Still tough for a FIP when the new PWAs known as NPWAs make $115K out of business school and have 2 years to fine business to become self sustaining. Kind of a dead-end job unless you make it to PWA but it is a rare transition since GS is trying to build the FIP role as a long-term one.

The overarching theme as far as FIPs go is that a lot of the research is circulated through PWM through the GS research group dedicated to producing material for the UHNW clients. The FIPs sort of reiterate what GS research says known as PWM's Investment Strategy Group (ISG) for PWM clients and adds a tailored feel to it.

WMPs are basically a back office support role based on the fact they cover the team's documentation and client on boarding. The reason why I would not say they are totally back office is that they interact with the clients a lot, even more so than PWAs but most of it is service related work such as making sure documents are signed, fedexed, payments are received etc... WMPs do sit on the desks with PWAs and FIPs and FAs they are just expected to handle those things. Phone etiquette, professionalism and a care for client needs are what make a good WMP.

Jun 14, 2017

Sorry, but 18 rounds of interview? Are you serious? What position is he interviewing for in PWM that would require 18 rounds of evaluation?

Jun 14, 2017

Its for a Financial Analyst (FA) position in PWM supporting the Investment Professionals (IPs). From what I've heard, the team wants you to meet as many people as possible to achieve an informed decision. Typically it ranges from around 10-18 interviewers interviewing you.

Any other comments will be much appreciated.

Jun 14, 2017

Does the same go for summer analyst positions?

Jun 14, 2017

I think OP is confusing # of interviews with rounds... eg: 18 interviews = 2 interviews first round, 6 interviews in 2nd round, 8 interviews in 3rd round = 3 rounds with 16 interviews. (to me, at least)

"I'm not sure what the four 9's do, but the ace, I think, is pretty high."

Jun 14, 2017

my interviewer at GS PWM in HK went through like 20 interviews, don't know how many rounds.

if it's that hard to get into pwm, then why do people think so low of it?

Jun 14, 2017

I can shit on a brick and get into pwm. I guess its hard if you are retarded and go to Rutgers.

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Jun 14, 2017

I call troll account. 1styearBanker needs to go back under the bridge outside of Princeton that he lives under and come back when he actually has a job somewhere. Sorry you guys have had such bad luck at stealing cannons from state-school "retards".

Jun 14, 2017

I speak the truth, go take a look at ML pwm internships, most are freshmen or sophs. Hand them out like candy, mostly nontargets from ohio state and shit. Sorry that you are a retard illinois kid who can't get into a BB shop for IBD.

    • 5
Jun 14, 2017

3.7 non target and 2 years of PWM will most certainly not get you into a top 7 business school.

Jun 14, 2017
HFFBALLfan123:

3.7 non target and 2 years of PWM will most certainly not get you into a top 7 business school.

I guess my bigger question was clearly the PWM is not ranked that strong and I am more talking about 2-3 years, but the Goldman name brand will not help you? If getting into a top 7 B-school after 2-3 years of work is my goal would I have to choose a MM investment banking job rather than the Goldman PWM? Clearly this is all hypothetical right now as I have no offers, but just trying to gauge my direction.

Jun 14, 2017

I have seen it done before from PWM analysts. I couldn't give you an exact percentage though. When you say PWM, would you be on a sales team or one of the groups surrounding it (like trust and estate or portfolio strategy)?

Jun 14, 2017
SirTradesaLot:

I have seen it done before from PWM analysts. I couldn't give you an exact percentage though. When you say PWM, would you be on a sales team or one of the groups surrounding it (like trust and estate or portfolio strategy)?

It would be for a regional office sales team. Im guessing trying to lateral after a few years into another Goldman Sachs AM group might make more sense before trying to get into an top B-school?

Jun 14, 2017

Getting into a top MBA isn't simply about WHERE you did your work experience. I recommend you read into what an MBA is and what background candidates come from before even considering it. People like HFFBALLfan123 don't really know what they're talking about and assume that MBAs admissions criteria are based on prestige (they're not).

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Jun 14, 2017

How technical were the interviews in Philly? Are they looking for basic market knowledge or something more indepth than that? Would appreciate your help.

Jun 14, 2017

is this for associate or analyst?

Jun 14, 2017

Financial Analyst

Jun 14, 2017

Unless you have a stellar GPA and solid connections, getting into GS will be difficult. U of I is not a target or a semi-target; and it is VERY difficult to get to GS even if you are at a target.

Additionally, you mentioned your portfolio. That's great, shows an interest in finance. But....so what. Every finance major has been managing their own portfolio. Lastly, I have no idea how you plan to bring in $500k to $1M in clients. But even if you can, that is chump change for GS. Not to discredit the initiative, but GS would be interested in hiring someone that can KEEP bringing in clients consistently. That's what is important; residual value.

Jun 14, 2017
CanadianGekko:

Unless you have a stellar GPA and solid connections, getting into GS will be difficult. U of I is not a target or a semi-target; and it is VERY difficult to get to GS even if you are at a target.

Additionally, you mentioned your portfolio. That's great, shows an interest in finance. But....so what. Every finance major has been managing their own portfolio. Lastly, I have no idea how you plan to bring in $500k to $1M in clients. But even if you can, that is chump change for GS. Not to discredit the initiative, but GS would be interested in hiring someone that can KEEP bringing in clients consistently. That's what is important; residual value.

Hey, thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. I was just curious on how competitive a company like Goldman is. Also, I planned on bringing the cash in through immediate and extended family.

Would a financial advisory type position at something like Merril Lynch be more realistic?

edit: What about UBS? Can you list some companies that I would have a more realistic shot working at. I have currently a 3.5ish GPA and experience working under a financial analyst helping with business plans at a boutique company. I plan to get better internships as I get older(I'm going into my sophmore year).

Jun 14, 2017

Getting a role at ML or MSSB in PWM isn't too difficult. But this is essentially a sales job, not a private banking job, since these places are "wirehouses". Not that many exit opps. UBS is better. Same underlying wirehouse concept, but they have larger clients. Their clients have a minimum net worth of $35M I believe.

Jun 14, 2017

not even close. ive done a GS PWM internship interview for chicago and its just behavioral/fit questions. great communication skills are a prerequisite

Jun 14, 2017

Same thing as the previous post, most were behavioral questions, the "toughest" question was the simplest one...what is the difference between a stock and a bond (too simple but hard to answer). Also know GS's PE ratio its at around 8.5 or so.

Oh ya almost forgot, say "teamwork" as much as possible. They love that shit.

Jun 14, 2017

Same thing as the previous post, most were behavioral questions, the "toughest" question was the simplest one...what is the difference between a stock and a bond (too simple but hard to answer). Also know GS's PE ratio its at around 8.5 or so.

Oh ya almost forgot, say "teamwork" as much as possible. They love that shit.

Jun 14, 2017

All behavioral. I agree about teamwork teamwork and willing to start at the bottom. They will "wonder" why you want to be the lowest of the pile. Just stress it and your reasoning. Its only a 2year gig though before many people fall out (they wont advance) and they lie about moving to other parts of the firm.

Jun 14, 2017

Why would they lie about it if they are out?

Jun 14, 2017

I meant the firm falsely promises you a move to other parts of the firm where you feel you may have greater interest following your stint.

  •  Jun 14, 2017

Your bonus is going to be tied to the production of your team. All in my guess is 80k - 90k, in today's equity market environment. Seriously though don't take the job based on the salary you will make in the first few years. To do well you will need to LOVE PWM; as time goes on you could make a boat load on money, and have a lot more autonomy than a IB MD.

Jun 14, 2017

To do well you will need to LOVE PWM; as time goes on you could make a boat load on money, and have a lot more autonomy than a IB MD.

Quite right. During the 1990s the single-best and fastest way to make money at GS was in PWM (or PCS as it was called back then). Stories of women retiring at 30 to have babies after having saved $20M.
With the new compensation structure that kicked in a few years back it's not quite that lucrative any more, but anyone who has a knack for the business (and there aren't many; it's very, very much an up-or-out job that requires a certain kind of personality) can make an astounding amount of money with a very, very good lifestyle.

  •  Jun 14, 2017

And all PWM offices are "regional". Your job is to gather assets, wherever those assets are, you gather them. A PW guy in NYC is no different from one in LA.

Jun 14, 2017

The pay may have gone up, but I knew someone who worked in GS PWM in 2004 and first year all in comp was more like 65-70K (55K of that is base, there isn't much bonus).

Jun 14, 2017

I don't work there, but I have asked many people who have. They say it is more prestigious and the program is probably more structured than your local ubs or baml pwm.

"Solace in Revenge"

Jun 14, 2017

they only play in the larger areas, i guess that = prestige. 10mm and up, baml likes 250k and up.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Jun 14, 2017

I was actually wondering this myself the other day. I'm sure they only deal with the higher end of HNWIs, but is client sourcing more word-of-mouth than the other BB PWMs?

Jun 14, 2017

Top MBA programs are not made up of only IB and Mgmt Consulting kids. The Goldman Sachs name will go a long way, and you should place well. In fact, I would suggest taking the GS opprotunity over a lot of banking jobs, unless of course you get offers from the top few.

Jun 14, 2017

Hmm... I know for a fact that HFs covert GS PWM FA's (in Asia at least). I summered there and thought the ppl were amazing. But if you want to move to IBD/ PE then it is harder... PM me if you need any help

Jun 14, 2017

take it. the gs name goes along way; if you network correctly, you could make the switch later on in your career (though it might be difficult). who knows though - you could end up loving the job and not wanting to make the move

Jun 14, 2017

To add a little info, I am currently at a top 3 retail (think ml, ms, sb) financial advisory firm. I have just finished getting my registrations (7,63,65), but I am not loving the "sales" aspect of what lies ahead of me. I really enjoy the analytical side of the markets, not so much the sales side.

I am 25, and would like to get some relavent analytical experience for 2-3 years and then go to a top b school. So, I have been networking and looking for openings around Atlanta (where I live), and was thinking I needed to get out of the advisory industry all together to gain a skill set that would get me into a top school and help in getting a better job after the MBA.

So...I have targeted a few smaller IB shops and a couple AM companies. But I have found out that there is an opening on a PWM team at GS here, so I started thinking about that as well...

Insight?

Jun 14, 2017

Sounds like your options are:

  1. smaller IB shops (names?)
  2. AM companies
  3. GS PWM

This is a very easy decision, go Goldman. It will look/traslate much better for B-school (this is your goal right?). If you can get placed in an elite boutiqe IB then that might be worth looking at, but it will be difficult to get those jobs now without banking expierence.

Jun 14, 2017

I know there is a great lunch place called Viga right next to the office. I did an internship around there (not at GS).

Jun 14, 2017

Just down the street from Viga there is a fantastic seafood place - Atlantic Fish Co. I would mention that to everyone, you'll be sure to get a response.

Dec 17, 2018

Anyone know what the hours look like for a summer analyst in PWM at a BB?