At Goldman Sachs, vacation for top managers becomes unlimited

Remote work, the practice of which has skyrocketed during Covid, has not always been matched with flexibility. At investment banks, and Goldman Sachs in particular, work-sleep on the subway is typically replaced by a 100-hour work week. Along with this, the risk of overwork and burn out increased for financial workers, who saw the already very thin line between personal and office life disappear.

However, faced with a growing controversy over the health of its employees, Goldman Sachs committed as early as March of last year to beefing up compliance. rule forbidding work on Saturdays. This first step was clearly not enough to restore its image and attractiveness to young leaders.

Shutdown after a week

In fact, to go further and motivate their employees, the Wall Street bank will allow its employees and CEOs to take as much free time as they want as part of a new “flex leave” program aimed at “rest” and recuperation, the daily newspaper reported on Saturday. Telegraph.

In a note by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS.N indicates that as of May 1, it no longer sets a ceiling on paid leave and that senior executives can “take a vacation if necessary,” the paper said.

For the rest, employees will be required to take at least 15 days of vacation per year, starting in January of the following year, with at least one week of vacation days in a row, according to information from Telegram.

Also, in the context of the risk of financial ruin, and as the number of interactions via digital channels with remote work has increased, will these unlimited vacations set by managers actually be put into practice?

In any case, the bank remains true to its top management-oriented meritocracy. In 2021, despite the crisis, the remuneration of its CEO increased by 65%.

A question of attractiveness in a full tightening of rates

The American company also intends to limit the risks bad noiseespecially since its employees will increasingly be exposed to sensitive contexts. With the end of accommodative central bank monetary policy, borrowing rates will tighten and financing options will become more difficult.

In this post-pandemic and military context in Ukraine, where financial advice is set to explode, Goldman Sachs must ensure that talent is attracted, especially when competitors like Citigroup are also making their case for respecting working hours.

As early as March, a document appeared on social media about thirteen analysts newly hired by Goldman Sachs, which explained that their mental and physical health had deteriorated significantly. “At one point I didn’t eat, I didn’t shower, I didn’t do anything except work from morning until midnight”– said one of them.

In terms of results, the investment bank also saw a decline in net income in the first quarter from –43%, to $3.8 billion. But strong brokerage activity in highly volatile markets has helped offset the decline in investment banker operations.

Asset management revenues fell by 88%, mainly due to losses from equity investments. On the other hand, those drawn from retail banking and asset management rose 21%.

Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

(jointly with AFP and Reuters)