Do people like to work for Goldman Sachs more than Morgan Stanley? For Credit Suisse more than Bank of America Merrill Lynch? For Deutsche Bank more than Barclays? If tenure is any indication of workplace tranquility, then the answer to all these questions is a resounding yes.
In London at least, then Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse - and to a lesser extent, J.P. Morgan, are doing a brilliant job of retaining staff. Morgan Stanley, Barclays, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, aren't.
The charts below are based on each bank's historic staff registrations with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Using filters provided by finance-focused corporate finance firm IMAS, we looked at the percentage of current staff who joined each bank between 2001-2005, 2005-2010 and 2010-2015. In other words, 10-15 years ago, 5-10 years ago, and 0-5 years ago. The results are 'illuminating'.
As the charts show, more than 60% of registered staff at Barclays' Investment bank, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (listed as Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley International and Merrill Lynch International respectively) have joined since 2010. This compares to just over 40% at Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.
Similarly, while more than 20% of registered London staff at Goldman, Credit Suisse and Deutsche have worked for each bank for more than 10 years, at Barclays and Morgan Stanley just 13% have. And at BAML a mere 5% of people have been around for a decade or more.
Based on historic trends, it therefore looks like Goldman, Credit Suisse and Deutsche are the places to work if you want to join an established culture with long-serving staff and to build a career with a single firm. BAML looks best avoided.
Needless to say, there are mitigating factors. Merrill Lynch International only captures the Merrill Lynch part of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. It's possible that some of the Merrill old-timers are now registered with Bank of America instead. Equally, the past is not necessarily a good indication of the future. Only last week, BAML said it's setting out to retain staff and to encourage movement between jobs internally, suggesting today's juniors might stick around.
Nonetheless, our analysis suggests there are big differences between banks in terms of the stability of their employees. Goldman Sachs, Deutsche and Credit Suisse must be doing something right. Why else would so many people want to stay for so long?