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August 20, 2014 7:52 pm

Goldman gives junior bankers 20% pay rise

The Goldman Sachs logo is displayed at the company's booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, US, on Friday, July 19 2013©Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs is increasing salaries for junior bankers in the US by about 20 per cent in an increasingly frenetic war to attract and retain young graduates.
Some first-year employees will see their salaries increase to about $85,000, according to people familiar with the matter. The change does not affect bonuses, which can equal the salary. It does not affect every new recruit, and is not being rolled out internationally.

Wall Street banks, which have been trying to rein in overall remuneration costs, have come under pressure to improve salaries for their junior staff. Rivals, including Morgan Stanley, have already moved to increase base pay.
Many bankers complain that, while they may be receiving a large bonus in deferred stock, they need cash to spend on expensive Manhattan rents.
The move comes amid a broader reappraisal of pay and conditions at large banks, which are having to deal with private equity firms poaching their staff, Silicon Valley technology companies looking for talent and the death of a Bank of America intern who was working long hours.
BofA announced last month that it would hire more junior staff in an attempt to improve the work/life balance of its bankers. Several banks have attempted to limit work at weekends. Goldman has taken this approach and warned of disciplinary consequences for bankers who breach the new rules.
Last October Goldman announced the findings of a “junior banker task force” set up to improve conditions.
Its proposals included hiring more entry-level employees, called analysts, and providing additional opportunities for these analysts to spend time with their managers and clients.
“The goal is for our analysts to want to be here for a career,” said David Solomon, Goldman’s co-head of investment banking. “We want them to be challenged, but also to operate at a pace where they’re going to stay here and learn important skills that are going to stick. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
In 2012 Goldman ended two-year contracts and bonuses for analysts at its investment banking operations. The move to give these junior bankers full-time employment contracts from the start was designed as a way to prevent them from being poached by hedge funds and private equity groups.
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