Goldman Sachs is no longer holding in-person meetings. If you want to participate in a morning meeting at the firm now, you'll need to dial-in. Same for anything else that requires the interaction of multiple people: whether you're on the blue team or the white team, whether you're at home, in the main office, or in the recovery office, your interactions will take place online.
However, as the virus reaches a 'tipping point' in New York and London, it's worth remembering that large meetings were a comparatively recent phenomenon at many major banks, Goldman Sachs included.
The New York Times noted yesterday that when it checked in with GS last week, the firm had banned handshakes but was holding meetings of up to 20 people. Those rules dated back to guidance issued by CEO David Solomon on 12 March to become effective 16 March. At that time, Solomon instructed employees to avoid physical contact with employees and to, 'Limit the size of gatherings with your colleagues to no more than 20 people.'
There's no evidence of the 20-person gathering rule being rescinded. However, things at GS seem to have changed at the latest around Thursday last week as governments in the U.S. and U.K. strengthened social distancing rules. The UK government now says that gatherings with anyone outside your family are inadvisable and New York state has banned non-essential gatherings of any size. Many European countries have even stricter provisions.
While banks have rushed to keep up with the ever-changing situation, the hope must now be that last week's 20 person meetings didn't spread the virus among groups of employees before the lockdown. Whether this is the case will soon become clear: the virus gestation period is 14 days, taking us to the end of March.
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