Goldman Sachs is cutting London tech staff this week. But don’t worry – it’s just standard annual trimming and isn’t part of the feared transplantation of London tech staff to the firm’s new(ish) technology hub in Warsaw.
Sources say Goldman is in the process of cutting around 20 staff from its UK technology business. The move is part of the firm’s annual process for whittling down poor performers. Goldman Sachs regularly fires 5% to 10% of its worst performing staff and this process has already been completed in other divisions – technology typically goes last.
The move comes amidst persistent rumours that Goldman is preparing to ramp up its technology business in Warsaw as it attempts to save costs and anticipates the effects of Brexit. Goldman Sachs International employed 2,801 support staff in 2016 (the last time for which data is available), at least 1,000 of which are likely to have been in technology (GS employs 9,000 ‘engineers’ worldwide). The firm opened its Warsaw technology office in 2015 and has been hiring there ever since. Of 51 technology jobs currently being advertised by Goldman in EMEA, 24 are in the Polish capital.
Goldman’s London tech cuts come despite the bank’s interest in hiring STEM students as it seeks to automate as much as possible under new CFO Marty Chavez. While Goldman is still hiring technologists in London, an increasing proportion of future tech roles are likely to be in either Warsaw or Bangalore, where technology talent is much cheaper. As we reported last week, Goldman already has 5,000 staff in Bangalore and could have space to house another 4,000 there soon.
Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Following the firm’s poor performance in the first quarter, there are growing expectations that it will cut staff. Since 2007, GS headcount has increased by 19% even though revenues are still 33% below the pre-crisis peak. The London tech cuts follow the promotion of Joanne Hannaford and retirement of Damian Sutcliffe as head of EMEA technology in March.