Goldman Sachs Prepares for Layoffs as Deal-Making slows


Jason Ryan, Staff

Courtesy of Financial Times

Goldman Sachs is a leading American multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York City. The company provides a wide range of services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments, and individuals. 

Goldman Sachs is preparing for a round of layoffs that could come as soon as next week due to low deal-making. At the end of June, Goldman had about 47,000 employees across investment banking, trading, asset and wealth management, consumer banking and operational functions. The job cuts can greatly affect employees across the company. 

Deal-making in the United States so far this year has totaled about $1.2 billion, compared with $2 billion a year ago in 2021, according to the data firm Dealogic. Initial public offerings raised about 95 percent less through the first half of the year than the first half of last year, according to EY, an advisory firm. With this, the number of deals has fallen about 73 percent.

Goldman typically revisits its headcount every year, letting go of employees based on performance and to match the bank’s needs. It had paused that program during the pandemic, which also coincided with a record period for deal-making, when bankers complained of being overworked. The program typically lays off 1 to 5 percent of workers; this round of layoffs is likely to be at the mid of that range. 

Goldman’s Chief Financial Officer, Denis Coleman, told analysts in July that the bank was “probably reinstating our annual performance review of our employee base at the end of the year.”

The move comes as the Federal Reserve’s effort to tame inflation by raising rates has somewhat cooled deal-making and raised concerns that the U.S. economy will tip into recession. The war in Ukraine has added further uncertainty to the mix.

With this however, Goldman reported in July that its second-quarter profit had dropped nearly 50 percent from a year earlier, to just under $3 billion. Revenue from Goldman’s investment banking division fell 41 percent from the same period in 2021. At that time, the bank said hiring for the rest of the year would slow.

Still, for executives across Wall Street, assessing the requisite size for layoffs can be difficult. This is a milestone as something like this has not formally existed in the past two years. Although it may be just a modest decrease over the company, it will still cause anxiety among employees. It will be interesting to see what Goldman Sachs’ headcount is at the end of the year. These layoffs are crucial to see if other job cuts on Wall Street go ahead with this trend.

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