Goldman saves juniors from drudgery. Goldmanites take hold at HSBC


The life of a Goldman Sachs analyst appears to be becoming less gruelling and tedious…but potentially more unstable. This is not the result of protected Saturdays or other programs designed to appease overworked junior bankers – robots are driving the overhaul, not HR.

Specifically, the bank’s Deal Link computer interface – which is being pushed out across the investment bank after being piloted on IPOs – is now eliminating “thousands of hours of work” by performing such wizardry as arranging compliance reviews, filling in forms, and generating reports, according to Bloomberg. In other words, it does some of the manual lifting that senior bankers hand to juniors at the start of a new deal.

The system could be a boon for 20-somethings at Goldman, who now have more time to focus on supposedly more satisfying tasks…such as helping “draft filings used to communicate with investors and register with the Securities and Exchange Commission”, says George Lee, chief information officer for the investment-banking division.

Yet the new tech may not do much to help Goldman hold onto its best young bankers. A transactional system, however clever, that smooths out the deal process doesn’t put Goldman on a technological par with the IT giants that it is increasing competing with for talent. Moreover, there’s only so much ‘interesting’ work to go around at a bank – and Goldman will need to ensure that juniors get their fair share of these tasks. For now, the bank says Deal Link won’t eliminate junior IB jobs, but the history of automation in trading and operations suggests otherwise.

Separately, HSBC’s global banking business is looking even more Goldman-esque. Last year former Goldman banker Matthew Westerman took over the division and reportedly shook up the firm’s ‘trusting’ culture with a harsher, more deals-driven environment. Now HSBC has tapped Westerman’s former colleague Rob Ritchie to co-lead the UK arm of global banking, reports Reuters. Ritchie, who joins HSBC in September, worked for Goldman for about 10 years, latterly as head of European corporate debt capital markets, before he left the firm 12 months ago. You know where to look next time HSBC has a senior vacancy.

Source : Simon Mortlock,

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