Remember when Goldman Sachs started talking in earnest about automating its junior investment banking jobs? How Richard Rivero, head of the team bringing technology to Goldman's investment banking division (IBD), said he'd be liberating Goldman's juniors from rote tasks and freeing them up to "get out on the road" and meet clients? Turns out there might be something in it after all.
In the brave new world, Goldman's juniors will be meeting clients, just not the clients they'd expected. They'll also be out on the road, but it's unlikely to be a life of business class flights to the world's major cities.
Instead, Goldman could use its freed-up juniors to pursue smaller mid-market clients in cities that it previously neglected. As part of its plan to ramp revenues by $5bn, Bloomberg says Goldman's going to chase family owned firms, firms owned by private equity funds, and public companies with a market capitalization of between $1bn and $5bn (small in Goldman terms). The bank has already shunted "rainmakers" to offices in the likes of Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle and Toronto and is now busy staffing-up its new satellites with analysts and associates.
If all goes to plan, Goldman's client numbers will rise by 10% to 15%. Its bankers will do a lot more travelling to clients in obscure locations and more of its staff will be located in "branches" around the Americas. Rivero's vision is being realized, which is all fine so long as you don't object to living on the road, and weren't exclusively hoping work on major deals out of New York City.
Separately, traders in Singapore haven't had a lunch break in six years. This is unlikely to evince much sympathy from traders in London and New York whose lunch breaks disappeared aeons ago, but it's a big deal in Asia. Now, after over half a decade of lunch break deprivation, Bloomberg says Singapore traders have regained the right to take half an hour off to eat at midday. They're still deprived compared to other traders in the region: in Malaysia, China and the Philippines traders get 90 minutes for lunch; in Thailand, they get two hours.
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