The local branch of the world's most successful investment bank is bleeding staff. What's going on?
In the past month, 11 members of Goldman Sachs JB Were's Perth team have defected to Citigroup, and 14 have escaped to Macquarie Bank.
Is something nasty afoot in the hallowed halls of Goldman's Australian operations? Not according to the bank itself, which tells us the exodus is all part of its plan to build new teams that can service a broader range of client needs.
However, one Sydney-based recruiter says GSJBW may be hurting more than it makes out and that the firm's local operations don't enjoy the prestige that Goldman enjoys globally - which may have triggered the walkout.
Mary Grant, principal consultant in Hudson's banking and finance division, says it's probably got something to do with cash: "Typically a mass walkout also involves better money. A desk head might be on AU$200k. However, a new deal could be worth AU$250k annually plus a sign-on bonus, which can be at least 25% of annual salary."
Bob Olivier, a director at the Olivier Recruitment Group, is no clearer on the precise reason for the departures, but says the exodus is merely a sign of Australia's robust markets, as a result of which poaching is at an all-time high.
However, he warns against anyone else joining the firm to fill the gaps without first establishing what's going on there: "Do your due diligence and know why the teams left in the first place."