Goldman Sachs

www.goldmansachs.com
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Goldman Sachs Reviews in United Kingdom

Updated February 24, 2015
Updated February 24, 2015
37 Reviews
3.0
37 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein
Lloyd C. Blankfein
37 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The best thing about the firm is outstandingly smart people at the firm (in 185 reviews)

  • People are smart (no one can be lazy, people always challenge you, you learn a lot) but humble (in 46 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life balance is non existent if you want to proceed up the corporate ladder (in 323 reviews)

  • Expect to work long hours (even though management says office "face time" is not important (in 398 reviews)

More Highlights

37 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    Challenging

    • 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

    Pros

    The pay and extra benefits are very rewarding, you end up working with very smart people that you can learn from, career advancement opportunities are plenty.

    Cons

    I guess the biggest dissadvantage is the fact collaboration is not fostered by higher management. This could lead to higher stress.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The main advice for management is to do more to
    foster cooperation. Big deals are not made by just an individual but by a full team.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Fractious but may have changed

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

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

    Pros

    Smart people, ahead of the curve. Smartest most informed traders on the street, due to organizational infrastructure.

    Cons

    Change of Job Scope on Day 1. Change of reporting lines on Day 1. Immediate Mgr had no idea about job scope. Smart people sometimes think too highly of themselves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sort out reasons for a hire BEFORE making it.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Professional and very diverse, but not the ideal place for a technologist

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

    I have been working at Goldman Sachs full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    * On average mostly smart people, down-to-earth
    * Professional and very diverse
    * Great job security for good performers
    * Some truly great managers

    Cons

    * Technology division still not seen as a revenue-generator, nor core enough to the business, and relatively poorly compensated
    * Still somewhat bureaucratic -- arbitrary non-meritocratic guidelines set by HR (minimum experience required for promotions etc)
    * Proprietary and non-transferrable technologies -- makes technologists not want to stay for too long
    * Huge lack of transparency into employee compensation -- person next to you could be just as good but get 40% less/more
    * Mostly only the top 1% are paid better than other banks

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * Change senior management perception and culture towards technology
    * Reduce bureaucracy

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Dynamic and fast paced environment where one can develop professionally at a rapid rate

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

    I have been working at Goldman Sachs full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are many resources available to develop your technical and interpersonal skills. You are working with very smart people and there are opportunities for those who are adaptable.

    Cons

    Work life balance is hard to achieve because you are constantly challenged. Also, it is really hard to transfer from mid office to front office so it is important that you accept an offer in the division where you really want to be in.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Add value to the firm, but don't forget to add value to yourself

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

    I have been working at Goldman Sachs full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some of the smartest people work at Goldman Sachs. For an intern/graduate it is a good place to learn and start building a career. Depending on the team you could be working with cutting-edge technology. If working in front office teams you will have plenty of exposure to the business side of things.

    Cons

    As with many large organisations, the experience of working at Goldman Sachs is greatly dependent on which team you end up working for, since the style, culture, and compensation varies wildly between teams. In terms of compensation, the business-aligned divisions will be a lot of better off.

    In technology, it is extremely painful to get any change approved, due to the many layers of management and bureaucracy. Also, the software development practices used in certain front office teams are truly shocking - hardly any unit testing, no collaboration. The code for some of the most critical trading functions seems to be randomly cobbled together until it finally works in production.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please treat your employees as more than just a "resource". The retaining power of the golden handcuff is no longer as strong as it used to be. Communicate more and learn how to motivate people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great firm, great culture and leadership

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Goldman Sachs

    Pros

    Challenging environment with promotional aspects laterally.

    Cons

    Always trying to race against time

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    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
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    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
  10. 24 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
  11.  

    Great, intense, steep learning curve

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

    I worked at Goldman Sachs as an intern (less than a 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

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