Goldman Sachs Reviews in London, England

Updated September 23, 2014
Updated September 23, 2014
1,777 Reviews
3.7
1,777 Reviews
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Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein
Lloyd C. Blankfein
1,176 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The best thing about the firm is outstandingly smart people at the firm (in 181 reviews)

  • People are smart (no one can be lazy, people always challenge you, you learn a lot) but humble (in 45 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is non existent if you want to proceed up the corporate ladder (in 317 reviews)

  • Expect to work long hours (even though management says office "face time" is not important (in 390 reviews)

More Highlights

27 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Well paid, too much politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Vice President in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Goldman Sachs full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good salary, good reputation, smart people

    Cons

    Terribly political, bad leadership, weird personalities in coworkers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less politics, more real leadership.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Operations VP

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - VP-Finance in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - VP-Finance in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Goldman Sachs full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good people, well located offices. Good name to have on your CV. Relatively flat management

    Cons

    Poor development opportunities from VP level. Currently the firm is struggling to manage its promotion pyramid with far too many people at the VP level and not enough at the analyst / associate level. Hours are very long with 12-15 hr days the norm. Significant off shoring has happened over the last 5 years and the strategy for the remaining functions in London is not defined leading to insecurity and impact to staff morale

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 20 people found this helpful  

    not the firm it once was

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Vice President in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Goldman Sachs full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Plenty of smart people remaining; their proprietary technology is interesting

    Cons

    l left GS after working for 10+ years in their tech division. Here are a few reasons why :

    Standards are slipping. In the past 5 years, many jobs such as DBAs and SAs have been off-shored to India to save money. Turnover in these locations is high and the quality of the staff is often lacking. lt's rare to find anyone in these roles who is skilled and takes a genuine interest in what they're doing.

    The amount of regulation and red tape has reached absurd levels. A simple task such as getting a server rebooted becomes a bureaucratic nightmare, involving multiple levels of manager approval followed by repeated emails, phone calls and hours of waiting. Don't even think about downloading a cool piece of productivity software onto your PC. You'll first need to check whether the app has been approved for use at GS, then get your manager to sign off, and finally open a ticket to have it installed remotely. If your app isn't on the approved list, forget it.

    By the way, India is never, ever referred to as a "low cost" location at GS - it's "high value", to use the correct GS-speak, To survive in the corporate hierarchy, you'll also need to learn how to "reach out" to somebody (= talk to them), to "revert" to an email (= reply), and how to "leverage" virtually any object (= use it), I know GS doesn't have a monopoly on this sort of double-speak, but I always find it faintly worrying to see how otherwise intelligent people parrot these tired phrases without a hint of irony or self awareness.

    Perhaps the most-used buzzword in recent years is "industrialization" - as in replacing human jobs with software, Management claim that industrialization will free people from routine or boring jobs, allowing them to spend time in more creative activities (there's never been an attempt to automate any MD- or partner-level jobs, although those are probably the most amenable - wonder why ??)

    It's difficult to criticize GS for wanting to cut costs, but it's dispiriting to think that your job in IT is essentially to put other people out of a job. Earlier in my career, GS was about using harnessing human intelligence to solve complicated business problems (and being paid well, because we were doing something that few others firms could). Increasingly we seem to be engaged in a race to the bottom, chasing ever-shrinking margins with as few overheads as possible, The relentless drive for efficiency makes for a pretty unappealing work environment - desks have been "densified" (another lovely GS-ism), office plants have been removed, and even the waste baskets have vanished.

    Don't expect to be be particularly well paid. I guarantee that you will quickly become fed up of reading about the "average" GS bonus payout in the media, and then having to explain to friends and family that you're only paid a fraction of that amount. I used to be proud of the fact that I worked as GS, now I try to avoid mentioning the name,

    The annual 360 reviews can also be pretty dispiriting. Over the years I've had reviews across the scale. Doing well seems largely to be a question of being in the right role and knowing the right people. Don't fall for the rhetoric about meritocracy - working hard and doing a good job is no guarantee of success. Personally i'd far rather the whole system were junked - I've had to deliver a few bad reviews in my time, and it's unpleasant and often utterly demotivating for the recipient.

    Oh, and prepare for endless cheerleading about the benefits of diversity and multiculturalism. The training is mandatory, so no sense complaining. But the sad reality is that "diversity in the workplace" often translates into hiring candidates who simply wouldn't have made it through the door 10 years ago.

    I loved my early years at GS, but I would not be tempted to re-join the firm today.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great, intense, steep learning curve

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Analyst in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Goldman Sachs as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Working with the smartest people in the industry - you can only get better. We played hard too!

    Cons

    Can get very stressful and overwhelming but once you get the balance right, you would sail through smoothly

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide a little more support for interns

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Technology Work Placement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Work Placement - Technology in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Work Placement - Technology in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Goldman Sachs as an intern (more than an year)

    Pros

    Structured career path
    Good name to have on your CV in this industry

    Cons

    Salary less than similar roles at other banks
    Technology under appreciated as it is not 'revenue generating'

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    It's not as good as it sounds, at least in Technology

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technology Associate in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Technology Associate in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Goldman Sachs full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits (private health insurance, good gym etc). Compensation is reasonable by industry standard.

    Reputation: definitely looks good on your CV.

    You meet very smart people, great place for networking.

    Cons

    Massive workplace politics, you have to scream loud for visibility, seriously you need to scream for anything you have done, you are doing, or you haven't done but would like to do - as long as it makes you sound good. Some decent, but not loud enough people got laid off first. The performance evaluation is rather subjective, unlike what they told you, it's not linked to your compensation in most cases - people who scored high in their review could still get very little based on how much you're 'favoured' by the management.

    Career development completely depends on your boss, and your boss' boss: if you have a supportive manager in career development and guides you about promotion do's and don'ts, it's great. Otherwise you have to fight for yourself. Worst of all, some managers would actually prefer keeping you working on the same stuff for years and stop you from moving to other teams.

    You don't get to work with smart people all the time, there are a fair amount of incompetent people in the back office divisions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on productivity instead of politics.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Well oiled machine. Great place if you aspire to be a cog..

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Assistant in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Goldman Sachs full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Well organised
    Good employee benfits
    London Headquarters was like a mini city with restaurants, gym, day care, dry cleaners, etc.

    Cons

    No work life balance. For all the perks they get their pound of flesh.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better work life balance..

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    Amazing learning opportunity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern In Investment Banking in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Intern In Investment Banking in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Goldman Sachs as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    You're amongst the best and brightest.
    Incredible access to deals and learning materials - unparalleled learning experience.

    Cons

    Very few perks of the job.
    Extremely long hours and as a result people tend to be not very nice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Limit the hours people work - it will definitely make everyone more productive.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Not as good as you would think

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Programmer Analyst in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Programmer Analyst in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Goldman Sachs full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Working with talented people. Force to imprve yourself.

    Cons

    Long hours with low pay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior managment get higher pay while low ranking staff got below average pay

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Well paid, but quite miserable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Associate in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Goldman Sachs full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Money is about the only thing

    Cons

    Environment, work life balance, management attitude

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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