Goldman Sachs Junior Bankers Complain of Crushing Workload Amid Space Awakening in Wall Street Transactions

A pedestrian is in front of 200 West Street, which is the headquarters of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. housed in New York, past.

Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Junior investment bankers at Goldman Sachs are suffering from a 100-hour burnout and are demanding bosses during a boom in transactions fueled by the SPAC, according to an internal survey conducted by a group of first-year analysts.

The increase in activity has seriously claimed analysts’ mental and physical health since at least the beginning of the year.

“The sleep deprivation, the treatment of senior bankers, the mental and physical stress … I went through foster care and it’s probably worse,” one Goldman analyst said according to a 13-employee survey in February.

“My body is physically sore all the time and mentally I am in a very dark place,” another analyst said.

The slideshow, filled with color-coded cards and formatted in the official style of an investment banking services haunting book, was created after a group of disgruntled analysts teamed up in several teams to investigate their colleagues, according to the people. First-year analysts are usually recent university graduates and occupy the lowest level in Wall Street’s hierarchy; above them are associates, followed by vice presidents and managing directors.

Goldman Sachs effect on physical and mental health.

Source: Liquidity | Instagram

The Wall Street model is to employ thousands of entry-level workers each year, often top university graduates, to create a pipeline for talent and a staff dedicated to the more mundane aspects of investment banking. Junior bankers trade a grueling workload higher than the average U.S. salary, and a chance to eventually earn a million-dollar remuneration package as a managing director.

Conditions on Wall Street became a major topic in 2013 after a Bank of America intern died in London after allegedly working sleepless nights. The industry then began adopting sheltered weekends, where junior employees could not work on a Saturday or Sunday without the approval of the manager.

Despite the changes, the culture of the industry remains tough. The respondents to the Goldman survey call conditions ‘inhuman’ and say that working 110 hours a week often leaves only four hours a day for sleep and self-sufficiency.

While the survey was from a small number of Goldman employees, the bank took their concerns seriously, people said. Goldman executives met with employees last month and said they were increasing the increase in junior bankers to cope with the workload. The bank also transferred employees to strengthen busier teams and worked to automate aspects of their work.

The 13 employees were not penalized for compiling the survey, a portion of which was posted to the Instagram account this week Liquiditysaid the people.

“We realize that our people are very busy because the business is strong and the volumes are at a historical level,” said Nicole Sharp, a Goldman spokeswoman. “A year after COVID, people are understandably pretty thin, so we listen to their concerns and take several steps to address them.”

On the heels of a record year for Wall Street, the IPO market is on fire, driven by insatiable demand for new companies. Demand is being met by SPACs, or blank-check companies used to make companies public, and $ 164 billion SPAC mergers so far this year have already exceeded the 2020 total, according to Dealogic.

The backlog of transactions reached a record level in the first quarter, Goldman CFO Stephen Scherr said at a conference last week. Goldman is the largest merger advisor in the world, stretching JPMorgan Chase in the total number of transactions and the number of transactions.

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