What happens after you leave Goldman Sachs? Once upon a time, ex-Goldman bankers were notorious for joining the U.S. government. Various Goldmanites occupy key governmental positions in Europe. An ex-Goldman banker organized the London Olympics last year. Then there are the ex-Goldman bankers running nature conservation charities and condom manufacturing companies.
But what happens when ex-Goldman bankers don’t quit the financial services industry altogether? Our research suggests that they have two preferred destinations: hedge funds, or failing that – Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
We looked at the 1,146 people who’ve left Goldman Sachs International – Goldman’s London-based business – since January 2010. Their names and destinations are stored on the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Register, which is rendered helpfully sortable by IMAS Corporate Finance.
The FCA Register shows that of these 1,146 Goldman refugees, 808 people (or 71% of them) failed to resurface in registered roles at other financial services firms in London. These people either left the industry, got new financial services jobs overseas, or took on menial back office-type roles which didn’t require FCA registration.
The remaining 338 ex-Goldmanites DID get other financial services jobs in London. Their destinations are shown in the chart below.
The chart shows that if you leave Goldman Sachs in London and stay in UK financial services, the chances are that you won’t join another big-name bank. Between 2012 and 2013, fewer than 50% of people escaping GS went to big-name rivals. When they did, their favoured destinations were Bank of America, Barclays, Citi and JPMorgan, in that order. An impressive 29 ex-Goldman bankers have joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) in the City in the past 2.5 years. Some of them may have followed Sanaz Zaimi, the Goldman Partner who joined BAML as global head of FICC sales in 2009. Others may have been lured by Tom Montag, BAML’s COO, who spent 22 years at Goldman Sachs before joining Bank of America in 2008.
Instead of other banks, a noticeably gigantic swathe of people who’ve got out of Goldman in London since 2010 have gone to hedge funds. Another 11% have gone to private equity or traditional asset management and wealth management firms. 20% have gone to miscellaneous entities like corporate finance boutiques, prop trading houses (Sun Trading being quite popular) or accountancy firms like PwC.
Hardly anyone has gone from Goldman to French firms like SocGen and BNP Paribas. And hardly anyone has gone from Goldman to British firms like RBS and HSBC. Only 11 people went from Goldman Sachs to Morgan Stanley.
Our research suggests Goldman Sachs is becoming a hedge fund-feeder operation. A new recruitment tagline may be in order: ‘Work at Goldman Sachs and move seamlessly into alternative asset management.’