Goldman Sachs has just unveiled its 2014 annual report. Much of the information contained within the 224 pages is the same as that revealed in its Q4 results, but there’s still pertinent information about what it takes to get a job there.
Goldman Sachs receives hundreds of thousands of job applications a year. In 2014, 8,300 people were hired, 270,000 applied – this is a 3% success rate. 90% of those offered a job accepted.
But you have a higher chance of getting into Goldman at graduate level – in 2013, 43,000 applications were received for 1,900 positions or a balmy 4% acceptance rate. If this seems bad, bear in mind that in 2012, only 2% of entry-level candidates made the cut.
Goldman increased headcount by a net 1,100 people last year. If it hired 8,300 this means that 7,200 people left the bank over the course of the year.
Based on this net increase, the US appears the best place to base yourself if you wish to work at Goldman Sachs. Headcount there increased by 800 people, compared to a mere 300 everywhere else. What the chart below does suggest, however, is that over the medium term headcount outside of the US has been heading up, while Goldman has got smaller in its home market. In 2010, 19,900 people were employed by Goldman in Americas, a figure that has shrunk to 17,400 people today. Meanwhile, employee numbers elsewhere have gone from 15,800 in 2010 to 16,600 in 2014.
Anecdotally, Goldman’s Asian operations are sizable – it employs around 5,000 people across the region (excluding jobs in India or in IT). Asia accounts for 16% of the firm’s revenues, but was the only region to post a year on year decline. This might be why Goldman has been downsizing in Asia. Senior bankers in the region - Hsin Yue Yong, head of Southeast Asia IBD, Ruben Bhagobati, head of M&A for Southeast Asia, and MD Antoine Izard – have departed in the wake of job cuts.
Goldman’s trading floor slipped into negative territory on 28 days of the year in 2014, but losses never dropped below $75m. By a strange coincidence there were also 28 days when its traders made more than $100m in a single day. The most common daily profit last year was $25-50m, however.
In the first quarter of 2014, Goldman handed its employees 14m restricted stock options for 2014 as part of their annual bonus award. These vest over three years and 3.6m of these, or around 25%, require employees to stick around in order to receive them.