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Morning Coffee: The special summer perk at Goldman Sachs. Reasons for banking pay to rise exponentially

Goldman creche

If you work for Goldman Sachs in London this summer, there is something you may badly want. It will not be for you to experience personally, but for you to experience vicariously through your children aged between five and 12 (assuming you have them). – The thing is a highly desirable place on the Goldman Sachs’ employees’ kids’ holiday program.

The program has just 12 places. Goldman employs around 5,500 people in London.  Fewer than half have children, with an even smaller proportion having children in the requisite age range. Even so, the program is hugely over-subscribed. Getting your seven year old a 10 day summer stint at Goldman while you work on the trading floor is harder than getting into Goldman itself.

The program is run in Goldman’s London creche. The BBC says it’s the only creche on offer at any bank in the City’s square mile. Located beyond the lifts and behind an unremarkable fire door in Peterborough Court, it’s for babies and children and is better than the average offsite childcare rival. – The baby room, for example, has one member of staff to every two infants instead of the mandatory one to three to help them settle in quickly.

The creche as a whole is rationed to 20 emergency days per year for Goldman staff with children, but it’s the summer program that is the real hit. Here, the 5-12 year-olds get to hang out among ‘bilingual books and toys’ whilst experiencing life on Fleet Street.  “The kids call it an office day,” says Ishmeet Rayit, who runs the children’s centre. “They get taken out for lunch by their parents and they make friends here.” The waiting list for the service is described as, “long.”

Separately, McKinsey & Co’s new report on the impact of machine learning on banking jobs suggests the cloud may have a silver lining. While machines might do away with jobs in the middle and back office, Bloomberg reports that banking employees who survive their ascendance are likely to be far more productive. – In cash equities, banks using “digital execution” have reportedly seen front office revenue per producer rise by up to eight times, for example. As individual productivity rises, individual pay should too.

McKinsey identifies five processes by which machines are likely to make a difference in wholesale banking: machine learning (algorithms identify data patterns in sales and trading); natural language processing (machines perform legal and regulatory tasks by scanning emails and recordings); cognitive agents or automated assistants which could help trading staff who have problems with their systems; robotic process automation where machines handle repetitive tasks like end of day valuations; and smart workflow tools, where machines scan documents and add data automatically, which could help with client on-boarding.

Meanwhile:

When Goldman Sachs went public, partners owned 60% of its shares. Now they own just 5%. Isabelle Ealet, the partner who runs Goldman’s struggling commodities trading division sold shares worth $3.5m in May. (Bloomberg) 

An M&A banker whom Deutsche hired from BAML went back to BAML. (Dealbreaker) 

John Cryan talks Brexit: “We will assume a reasonable worst outcome. The worst is always likely to be worse than people can imagine.” (Bloomberg) 

Banks don’t want to leave London: European offices are just a hedge. “”It’s an insurance policy. I just have to figure out what the cheapest insurance policy is … in a perfect world, we will just tear it up.” (Reuters) 

Blame quant funds trading on superior information that trickles out over time for the fall in volatility (and the fortunes of banks like Goldman Sachs). (Wall Street Journal) 

An algae-studying microbiologist developed a superior quant trading strategy. (Bloomberg) 

Deprived students are bursting to work in banking: “I’ll need to outperform and over-deliver consistently”. (Financial News) 

U.S. hedge fund managers face a tax bill that could be as high as $100bn after accumulating offshore gains without paying federal or state taxes. (WSJ)

What’s the worst thing you’ve seen in a single man’s apartment? (Vice)


Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

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