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:

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Comments (289)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 17, 2021 - 3:31pm

Jesus Christ this is concerning, is this due to WFH or is it usually like this?

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 17, 2021 - 5:13pm

haha, you are welcome. Hope my team this summer reflects similarly on my work during the summer to give me an FT offer.

Mar 19, 2021 - 12:21am

This generation is so weak.

You are at the best bank and you are crying help and people are giving you a break while you make 5x the median income straight out of college.

Earn your paycheck and stop being a p*ssy

Mar 19, 2021 - 12:59pm

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?

Mar 19, 2021 - 2:59pm

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.  

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Other
Mar 20, 2021 - 11:51am

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 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 17, 2021 - 11:02pm

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

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 18, 2021 - 1:27pm

Same, everyone I know in levfin, fig and industrials getting crushed, staffed late fridays and saturdays, etc. the "wellness hour" that we get is a downright joke and I haven't seen anyone use it. Wonder if we could make a similar deck because right now I fucking hate my life as a first year analyst.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 18, 2021 - 1:50pm

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)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 19, 2021 - 12:28pm

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

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

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 19, 2021 - 1:15pm

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...)

  • Works at UBS AG
Mar 21, 2021 - 5:38pm

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. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen
Mar 22, 2021 - 2:15pm

Yup can confirm UBS is total sweatshop right now. Usually run pretty lean groups anyway, but insane volume coupled with like 50%+ departures of the AN2's makes it much worse. 95-100 has been around average since starting. 

Seeing those recruiting posts just adds salt to the wound. 

Controversial
Mar 17, 2021 - 3:50pm

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.

  • Associate 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 17, 2021 - 4:35pm

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

Mar 17, 2021 - 4:55pm

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. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 19, 2021 - 6:31am

lol it's not even like 10% of Goldman's entire new grad US IB class.. talk of the second years.

Mar 17, 2021 - 9:26pm

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.

Mar 19, 2021 - 2:34pm

you're living proof that most people working at IBs are not really that smart. Yeah, these have been around forever. Guess what hasnt??? SOCIAL MEDIA

Mar 20, 2021 - 9:44am

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.).  

Mar 17, 2021 - 7:16pm

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 $$.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 17, 2021 - 10:54pm

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

  • Intern in S&T - Comm
Mar 22, 2021 - 11:01pm

Based on their open positions on LinkedIn lately/compared to usual, you are 100% correct. Mad postings everywhere

Mar 24, 2021 - 8:18pm

That post actually led to a whole skew of changes at Piper (at least in the short-term / until COVID hit), I wonder if this will have a real impact or if Goldman has too much prestige inertia. 

  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Mar 18, 2021 - 11:56am

Believe it or not, that's their actual format. Have seen books from all the banks and honestly GS wouldn't rank that highly for me in terms of style. They've barely changed anything in a decade, but I guess if it ain't broken...

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 18, 2021 - 12:03pm

Sorkin is a complete suck up to the big banks.  His book too big to fail was basically a homoerotic love letter to Jamie dimon(srs).  He wouldnever denigrate these firms because hed lose access.

Mar 18, 2021 - 4:05pm

I mean it's not a bad take - but just adds zero value. Everybody knows 13 analysts don't represent "the entirety of employees" and that was never the point! The slides were supposed to show how shitty everything is for first years... Sorkin just completely whiffed on the whole point

Array

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Mar 18, 2021 - 12:34pm

I don't ususally write on here but this is exactly how it's been at our EB. The treatment of junior bankers if flat our inhumane and there is no other way to say it. I can no longer recommend this career path to anyone. 

Mar 18, 2021 - 1:11pm

The issue is that the seniors still dictate the experience regardless of whether you are in the office. Now that they see how easy it is to communicate remotely, they'll continue to expect a high level of responsiveness 24/7 (even when they're not in the office late at night or on weekends)

Mar 18, 2021 - 3:33pm

wso120120

The issue is that the seniors still dictate the experience regardless of whether you are in the office. Now that they see how easy it is to communicate remotely, they'll continue to expect a high level of responsiveness 24/7 (even when they're not in the office late at night or on weekends)

I hear that but banking has always been like that. The difference is that in office you are not melding your personal/home life into the work experience. That is meaningful because environment plays a huge role in productivity. So jr bankers today are probably working long and harder but with marginal gains in productivity. 

Mar 22, 2021 - 10:15am

Not sure it does even then.  I've had multiple VP-level friends who thought they were staying in banking forever change their minds during COVID and look for an exit.  One of them specifically said he didn't want to try for MD "because I have a soul" and cited the treatment of juniors during COVID.  

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Mar 18, 2021 - 4:57pm

I've started to staff myself strategically on projects with low intensity MDs. Been helping my hours significantly 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Mar 18, 2021 - 3:37pm

For context to others -

This is what was said by a Citi Houston IB MD when asked about WFH Dinner Stipends. As it turned out tho, a week after that email exchange went viral, Citi instituted its Dinner stipends even for WFH again.

Mar 18, 2021 - 3:57pm

(Not directly related to topic)

I just wanted to say their slides look trash. 

Left margin way too wide, right margin too narrow

First chart not center aligned / dragged across the entire slide

Why does source start from where it is currently starting from? Should it be aligned to the left of the GS logo???????????????????

pls fix thx

Array

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 18, 2021 - 11:18pm

people like you are why IB is complete JOKE

focuses more on format vs actual message

meanwhile some tech quant doesnt give a phuck about formatting and hes making millions a year working on actual problems that require thought vs prettying up a powerpoint page like a complete corporate cuck

Mar 19, 2021 - 1:20am

the "tech quant" stuff that ur dickriding basically just means momentum/trend follow, HFT options market making, or scalping lol...

doesnt rly involve much "thought" or "working on actual problems" and doesnt rly add much to society either

not defending banking culture or anything but ur just spitting out buzzwords tbh

Mar 19, 2021 - 7:45am

Well nobody's going to read your slides if they have trash formatting so I'm not sure what you're going on about. 

Same goes for modelling. 

Tech quant's life is going to be very difficult if his code's a mess and he can't audit it. 

Array

Mar 18, 2021 - 4:37pm

Serious question: does anyone think anything actually comes of this? The fact that it was on CNBC seems like good news, but we've seen many stories like this ultimately just fizzle out because no actual pressure was put on management. I mean I hope DJ David gets shit on his fat bald head and that the monkeys at GS and everywhere else see an improvement, but if we're being realistic what can actually happen as a result of this?

Mar 18, 2021 - 5:01pm

Not really - the Piper thread blew up internally and there was a lot of talk about things actually changing and certainly some things did improve, but from what I've heard over time things slowly reverted back to how things were before and only a few of the changes were permanent. Also think about a few years ago when there was a string of semi-high profile deaths / suicides (BAML, Moelis, GS) in a short period of time and nothing really happened out of that I don't think either.

Mar 18, 2021 - 7:05pm

That's nuts... but why the hell would Jefferies offer a Mirror instead of a Tonal? If you're paying 2K plus for the Peloton, you can at least spring for the better "Mirror Type" system

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 18, 2021 - 6:12pm

as much as i hate AOC and Elizabeth Warren, I hope they get wind of this and start twitter blasting Goldman (something they like to do already) about this.  AOC you are my only hope

would make Goldman Board of Directors pucker up REAL fast

Mar 19, 2021 - 10:48pm

He's actually not wrong. The more flak this catches from influential folks (and by influential I just mean large reach not folks who I or others respect), the more a Board will be obligated to enforce at least public-facing action. A lot of their duty lies in obviously generating returns for shareholders but secondly making sure that the firm is seen in a good light (relatively speaking) so that large institutional shareholders don't make a fuss when bad press comes to light amongst other things.

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Mar 18, 2021 - 7:20pm

If the average time you're going to sleep is 3 am, odds are you're either wildly inefficient at your job, or just suck, or some combination thereof. And yes, even if you're at a BB like GS. I've done IB at both a BB and boutique, these reports are either extreme outliers or exaggerations

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Mar 18, 2021 - 7:34pm

lordxenu33

If the average time you're going to sleep is 3 am, odds are you're either wildly inefficient at your job, or just suck, or some combination thereof. And yes, even if you're at a BB like GS. I've done IB at both a BB and boutique, these reports are either extreme outliers or exaggerations

or your vp/sr associate/director above you sucks

my VP emails me all night asking for updates NOW.  it never ends

same with my MDs.  we do calls at midnight

fuck off

Mar 18, 2021 - 8:01pm

or it could be that things have just gotten worse over Covid because everybody's cooped up at home and the already flimsy line between life and work just up and disappeared

Mar 18, 2021 - 9:18pm

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 19, 2021 - 12:20am

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 19, 2021 - 1:03am

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