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Goldman Reaches ‘Critical Mass,’ Curbs MD Promotions

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Being named a managing director at Goldman Sachs – an already challenging task, even for the brightest of bankers – is about to get a bit more difficult. The bank sent a memo to employees this week notifying them that MDs will be named every two years, rather than bestowing the honor on an annual basis, which had been the norm since 1996.

The rationale behind the move is two-fold. Naming a new class of MDs – usually made up of between 200 and 400 employees – is an amazingly time-consuming affair. Goldman’s process is known as being more rigorous than other banks.

The second, more depressing reason, at least for vice presidents within the firm, is that Goldman appears to be running out of room at the grownup’s table. The memo, first obtained by Business Insider, said that Goldman had always planned to move to a biennial selection process when the number of MDs reached “critical mass.” Apparently, they are there.

When asked if biennial classes would remain similar in size to the annual classes, a Goldman spokesperson told eFC that the firm will continue to choose managing directors based on the same criteria it has used in the past. “It all depends on the economy, among other factors,” said David Wells, a managing director in his own right.

Goldman named 266 managing directors last year, one of the lowest totals since the firm went public in 1999. The next MD class will be named toward the end of 2013.

Fewer Layoffs (LA Times)

A key labor market metric – the four-week moving average of jobless claims – fell to a five-year low last week.

New Boss (Bloomberg)

Guggenheim Partners has named Henry Silverman the new head of its real estate and infrastructure business. The asset management firm poached Silverman from Apollo Global last year.

Winners and Losers (eFinancialCareers)

Working in a business unit that gains market share is a good argument for deserving a large bonus. Based on that thinking, here are several units at banks that should be rewarding their employees, along with a few that should be delivering zero bonuses.

Hiring on Hold (eFinancialCareers)

Hedge fund managers in the U.K. are delaying hiring decisions because of confusion over how new remuneration rules will impact their ability to pay senior and front office employees.

Adding Resources (Financial News)

HSBC has been incrementally adding headcount to its advisory and corporate broking unit, particularly in the resources sector. The latest hire is Herman Deetman, former head of utilities for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Deutsche Bank.

Equity Funds Win Popularity Contest (Financial News)

Want to work at a hedge fund? The strongest players for 2013 are likely activist hedge funds and equity funds, which have made a huge comeback. Long/short equity is now investors’ most popular strategy.

Apparently She Didn’t Like His Answer (Business Insider)

Newly-elected Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren showed her teeth – yet again – by absolutely grilling a treasury official on the lack of criminal punishment doled out following the HSBC money laundering investigation. She got really intense.

Buzz Around the Office

Education is Important (NJ.com)

A New Jersey man was busted for throwing rocks with threats painted on them through a judge’s window after cops gave him a writing test. He spelled the same two words – evil and liar – incorrectly both times.

List of the Day: Social Media Mistakes

When putting together your online profile, avoid these mistakes.

  1. Not using a photo.
  2. Skipping the status tool.
  3. Using default privacy settings.

(Source: The Daily Muse)

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