Over the years, Goldman Sachs has held the helm in the world of banking. Considered “king of the hill” on Wall Street, Goldman Sachs has an extensive history of long-term success rooted in a distinct business culture with the accolades to prove it.
Goldman Sachs was founded in the US in 1869 when Marcus Goldman, who emigrated from Europe, embarked on a small enterprise to provide an alternative to expensive bank credit. Little could founding father Goldman have known that his company would become one of the biggest names in banking. Headquartered in New York, the firm today has a large global footprint and employs over 30,000 people across all major financial centres worldwide.
A Bit of Background
Goldman’s first international office opened in London in 1970. Today, this office is home to over 5,000 professionals and serves as the hub of Goldman Sachs’s European activities – a real force in UK investment banking and securities.
Over the years, Goldman Sachs has held the helm in the world of banking. The bank was pivotal in establishing the IPO markets of the early 1900s. In the 1950s, Goldman Sachs played a lead role in establishing the municipal bond market and 20 years later the investment bank was the first to create a specialised mergers and acquisitions group. During the 1980s, the firm gained a shiny reputation as a white knight of M&A by advising clients on how to avoid hostile takeovers. Then in the late 1980s, Goldman Sachs ranked as the first and only North American bank in the top 10 table of M&A volume in the UK. Goldman also became one of the first companies to recruit a large number of MBAs from leading business schools worldwide, a practice which still runs to this day.
Goldman Sachs going public and raising just under £2 billion in the process created quite a stir and made all the financial headlines in 1999. In the fall of 2008, as Congress worked on a $700 billion relief package for the big banks of Wall Street and the markets witnessed the abrupt bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the quick sale of Merrill Lynch's to Bank of America, Goldman Sachs requested to become a bank holding company.
Closer Look at the Business
Goldman’s business is divided into three sectors: 1) investment banking, 2) trading and principal investments, and 3) asset management and securities services.
The investment banking business serves clients in the industrial, consumer, natural resources, health care, financial institutions, real estate, special products, technology, media and telecommunications industries. The investment banking sector is further sub-divided into two groups: Investment Banking and the Financing Group.
The trading and principal investments business – the largest of the three segments and the company’s profit centre – has three categories: fixed income, currency and commodities, and equities and principal investments.
The asset management business is split into two categories: asset management and private wealth management. This sector generates most of its revenue through management and incentive fees, providing investment advisory and financial planning services and offering investment products to institutions and individuals worldwide.Read all 120 employee quotes
Goldman Sachs is a hub for graduates with the firm’s analyst and associate programmes drawing masses of wannabe professionals to the banking fortress. Competition is fierce as the firm is notorious for hiring only the best of the best. Yet, a financial background is not necessary if you want to embark on a career as an analyst at the firm, although it is likely to give you an advantage. Analysts inevitably deal with clients so if you’re into this kind of relationship building thing, you’re probably the sociable and outgoing character the firm is after. Commercial focus and strong problem solving skills are also wanted and while these are not the only qualities you should come armed with, you stand a good chance if you possess these basics.
Analysts serve as busy bees in all of the divisions. Training will depend on the business area, but generally all new analysts will start their training programme with a firm-wide orientation. This will equip grads with an induction to the firm’s structure, products and services, as well as the social events on offer. Goldman Sachs has its own university that forms a central part of the firm’s divisional training programme. Expect to receive training on job-specific strategies and products while also learning about sales, technical and client service skills. New hires are well looked after through the firm’s mentoring programme so – although you’ll be given high levels of responsibility – a helping hand is never far away.
If you’re keen to establish yourself as an associate at Goldman Sachs, you need to have an MBA and two to five years of work experience on your CV. Associate training follows a similar format as the one for analysts and is aimed at expanding professional, technical and interpersonal skills. Remember, big brother is watching you so be prepared for the scrutiny you’ll have to face throughout the training period as new associates are regularly assessed on their performance.
Goldman Sachs has long represented the number one destination for graduates with serious ambitions about a successful career in banking. Hence a bit of work experience will come in handy when applying for a full-time position at the firm – and you can count yourself lucky as Goldman Sachs runs several types of internships. However, all prospective interns will have to bring a real appetite for the firm and the industry and demonstrate leadership skills, team spirit and academic excellence.
Summer internships are amongst the most popular and are offered globally across the firm’s prime locations and core divisions including finance, internal audit, investment management and operations. Both summer analyst and summer associate positions are available; the former is open for those pursuing an undergraduate/postgraduate degree, and the latter for students working towards an MBA or a more specialist degree. Summer internships kick off with a firm-wide orientation that is aimed at providing novices with an introduction to the firm’s culture and the kind of responsibilities interns will have to take on during the 10 weeks spent with Goldman Sachs. This initial induction is then followed by more formal division-specific training.
There are also more long-term internships on offer that, depending on the business area and region, can last three, six, and even 12 months. They are offered on a rolling basis so it’s worth keeping an eye open for these. In Europe, positions for one-year placements are usually filled in Frankfurt, Moscow, Paris and Zurich so if you’re keen to go abroad, you better bring some good language skills with you. Initial training for the year-long industry internship is provided in the firm’s London office with continuous training opportunities available throughout the internship.
If you’re two years away from graduation, then the two-week internship at Goldman Sachs running in April is probably better suited for you. Pick a division – global investment research, investment banking or technology, to name just a few – and be prepared to learn about the industry and sector. Spring internships are also a good way to secure a summer placement if you’re serious about a career in banking.
Goldman Sachs Graduate Recruitment Info
When to apply:
New Analyst: 28 October 2012
Summer Internships: 2 December 2012
Work Placements: 6 January 2013
Spring Programme: 6 January 2013
No. of employees worldwide: 33,000+
Graduate Intake: c.300
Intern: £1,000 to £3,000 / week (Approx.)
Analyst: £35,000 - £55,000 (Approx.)
Associate: £45,000 - £75,000 (Approx.)
Vice President: £75,000 + (Approx.)
Closed ended investments
Equity capital markets
Fund administration pensions, endowments & founda
Mergers & Acquisitions
Private Wealth Management
Securities Lending Programs
They're great people, but competition is a huge part of the culture. Not for everyone, but incredibly right for some.InternHelpful?
It was pretty intense but what do you expect!InternHelpful?
I think it's up to chance a lot, personality fit counts for more than anything.InternHelpful?
Some was a bit tour-like but there were some really useful bits.InternHelpful?
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Tel: +44 20 7774 1000
No. of offices worldwide: 62