Very Late Lunchtime Links: Things look good at Goldman Sachs compared to last year, but bad compared to Q1 2010. FICC looks weak. And Goldman is NOT hiring

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It’s Goldman Q1 day.  Things were ok. Expectations were beaten.

As the chart below shows, things were pretty good compared to Q1 2011. They were not so good compared to Q1 2010. Pay was down in either case: at an average of $135k per head in the first quarter, it was down 9% on Q1 last year and 23% on Q1 2010.

The recent quarterly evolution of headcount, pay per head and profit per head at Goldman Sachs 

Goldman’s famous fixed income currencies and commodities business wasn’t so hot, with net revenues down 20% on the same quarter of 2011. This looks particularly bad compared to the 19% increase over the same quarter at Citigroup. Goldman attributed its poor FICC performance to: client caution  and reduced risk taking. Others have attributed it to: the Muppets’ revenge.

On the other hand, Goldman had a good quarter in equities and equity derivatives. And Citigroup didn’t. The exception in Goldman’s FICC business was rates, which had a “very, very good quarter” indeed.

Will Goldman Sachs be hiring? Apparently not. It cut 900 people over the past quarter and has cut 3,000 people since the first quarter of 2011. During today’s call, David Viniar said staffing levels were likely to say roughly similar, “assuming the environment stays where it is.”

Will Goldman Sachs be hiring particularly in Asia? Not really there either. Viniar said that Goldman had made more cuts in Europe and the US than in Asia and that it will be hiring still in Asia Pac, but that hiring there will be, “very moderate in this environment.” Ominously, he said the last few weeks have had a, “chilling effect” on activities in Europe.

What about all those partners who've left, is that a problem? No. Viniar said they’ve only been leaving recently because they were just too loyal to leave before. “Our bench is so deep, it’s really not a problem at all,” he said.


“I think that the results look somewhat disappointing in comparison with the strong numbers we’ve seen out of JPMorgan and Citigroup.” (Bloomberg) 

Has Citi turned a corner? (William-Wright) 

Evercore wants to double its number of partners, to hire at least 20 bankers inLondon, to double its M&A revenues and to open offices in London and Frankfurt. (Financial Times) 

Meet the short, thin, elegant, female French banker who’s worked for Lazard for 30 years is negotiating the Greek debt deal. (Bloomberg) 

Jamie Dimon was paid 67 times the amount of the average JPMorgan investment banker last year. (Bloomberg) 

Barclays has hired Marcus Jackson: another corporate broker from Bank of America. (Financial News) 

Everywhere wants to grow in Saudi Arabia. (Bloomberg) 

The head of general industrials has left UBS. (Financial News) 

Bank of America doesn’t care about all the poaching by the Orcels: “Andrea’s just hired the people that were his water carriers,” was one familiar comment. “Riccardo’s simply made some hires at associate level.” (CityAm)

BarCap’s M&A bankers are going to have to get a lot closer to their corporate bankers in future. (NYTimes) 

"SocGen [Société Générale] have their trading floor in Paris. They want to move part of it to London for exactly this reason; it's so hard to hire in Paris." (Guardian)