Sideways: Junior Wall Streeters aren’t paying attention to the market
Wall Street’s junior human capital resources may not appreciate that there is now a bear market for their output, and that could spell tough times ahead.
Late summer often sees news stories gather more attention than they might deserve. The departure of a group of six junior bankers from Goldman Sachs in August provided an example of this, as it was hailed by a New York tabloid as a “wave” of workers quitting “en masse” from a “toxic Wall Street giant.”
An insider at Goldman dismissed the report as “highly sensational and overblown”, adding: “There’s always natural turnover around bonus season [for trainee bankers] and this small number of departures is par for the course. Goldman is seeing a record number of applications for roles like these.”
Goldman often becomes the focus of industry-wide trends, and the bank has been in the spotlight during a debate over working conditions for junior employees since a presentation complaining about long hours for trainees leaked last year.
Competitors to Goldman report that their own junior staff members are also restive, with many dragging their heels about returning to the office.
Newly assertive trainee staff seemed to have some leverage as demand for investment banking services boomed in 2021, and there was a wave of competitive pay increases across Wall Street, along with concessions on working hours, especially at the weekend.