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Revealed: the bank in Singapore that’s filling its ranks with 20-somethings

Goldman Sachs Singapore

Goldman Sachs has a higher proportion of junior professionals in its ranks than any other global bank in Singapore, according to online profiles of bank employees.

We calculated the total number of staff profiles for 14 major foreign banks in the Republic. And for each firm we then worked out the percentage of employees within four levels of work experience: up to two years; three to five years; six to 10; and more than 10.

While our results are restricted to people who’ve chosen to make their profiles public, they broadly reflect the experience distribution across the banks.

The table below shows that Goldman Sachs, in proportion to its overall headcount in Singapore, is a particularly avid recruiter of young candidates.

People with between zero and two years’ experience (i.e. recent graduates, many of whom will still be completing analyst training programmes) make up 14% of its local employee online profiles. That’s more than double the average (6%) across all the 14 banks we looked at.

Goldman again outranks its rivals in the other ‘junior’ group – three to five years’ experience (typically associate level).

As in the graduate category, the percentages are remarkably similar, with nearly all the banks clustered around the 11% to 16% mark. At Goldman Sachs in Singapore, however, a quarter of staff profiles have this level of experience.

Goldman is known to be hiring junior staff, especially middle and back-office people, in Singapore. And like other banks it hasn’t made major cuts to its graduate programme, despite slowing regional economic growth.

But the comparatively high junior percentage at Goldman also reflects the recent trimming of its more experienced staff. Not only is the bank renowned for its annual cull of underperformers, in September it made dozens of senior bankers redundant in Asia, including in Singapore.

As so-called ‘juniorisation’ – replacing expensive directors and MDs with their former subordinates – gathers pace in Singapore, Goldman appears to be ahead of the back.


Image credit: RichVintage, Getty

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