Goldman Sachs boss responds to leaked report into inhumane working hours – The Guardian

Goldman Sachs

David Solomon says he takes survey in which junior analysts claimed damage to physical and mental health very seriously

Goldman Sachs’s chief executive, David Solomon, has broken his silence over a report by some of its junior bankers that claimed staff were facing “inhumane” working conditions, saying he took the complaints “very seriously”.

In a recorded message sent to the bank’s 34,000 staff across the world on Sunday night, Solomon said the Wall Street firm was taking further action to address issues raised in the leaked presentation last week.

The slides, which were created by a small group of newly hired investment banking analysts in the US, said they were working 100-hour weeks and facing abuse from colleagues that was severely affecting their mental and physical health.

“I can imagine that many of you saw the presentation that a group of analysts shared with their management recently about their lack of work-life balance,” the chief executive said, according to a transcript seen by the Guardian. “This is something that our leadership team and I take very seriously.”

The complaints suggested bankers at Goldman are still struggling with the long hours and high-pressure culture that was exposed when 22-year-old Goldman analyst Sarvshreshth Gupta took his own life in 2015. Gupta was found dead after complaining of working 100 hours a week and working all night.

Solomon said junior staff were facing “a new set of challenges” due to remote working, acknowledging that some staff felt they had to be connected 24/7. “This is not easy, and we’re working hard to make it better.”

The banking boss is famously opposed to home working, having called it an aberration that must be corrected as soon as possible.

Solomon, who was previously head of Goldman’s investment banking division, said the lender was responding to complaints by strengthening enforcement of a no work on Saturday rule, ramping up efforts to hire new junior bankers and transferring staff internally to help teams that were stretched. “We’re also being more selective about business opportunities that we pursue, and we’re working to automate certain tasks in our business,” he added.

Despite fears that the 13 junior bankers may have faced repercussions for raising their concerns – which were first brought to managers before they started circulating on Twitter last week – Solomon said he encouraged staff to speak up.

“In this case, it’s great that this group of analysts went to their management. We want a workplace where people can share concerns freely. So we want to encourage all of you to take the opportunity to speak with your management. If there are any issues, do not hesitate to reach out to ask for help,” the message said.

However, he cheered the fact that Goldman was attracting enough business to keep its investment bankers so busy. “In the months ahead, there are times when we’re going to feel more stretched than others, but just remember: If we all go an extra mile for our client, even when we feel that we’re reaching our limit, it can really make a difference in our performance.”













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