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Complaints that Goldman Sachs job cuts weren't entirely objective

Goldman Sachs is cutting underperformers. Or is it? Some of those in teams that have been cut are complaining that the layoffs may not have been entirely motivated by performance. 

In theory, Goldman's cuts are all about eliminating around 2% of its worst performers, with poorly performing candidates selected via an appraisal process that has three levels:  "exceeds expectations;" "fully meets expectations;" and "partially meets expectations."

However, in the European real estate team within the asset management division, insiders say cuts are closer to 25% of investment professionals and that some of those cut were "well-liked, well-regarded and technically very competent."

Goldman declined to comment on the complaints, which might be dismissed as the gripes of a people left behind after their friends have left. The realty management division (RMD) investment team, which was previously around 35 people, is now understood to be around 25 in Europe. 

However, as Goldman reorganizes into fewer and larger divisions, the RMD exits might have broader implications for the firm. The team sits in a unit created in 2019 that combines Goldman's historic merchant banking division (MBD), its special situations group (SSG) and its real estate group. The grumblers suggest that people from the legacy SSG team were disproportionately targeted for exits, whereas the legacy MBD people got off lightly. In the new team, most of those in charge allegedly started off in MBD.

If true, the implication is that even in the most impartial of processes, some partiality may creep in. If so, it's an unsurprising manifestation of human nature, but it could have consequences as divisions are restructured. It helps to be on the side of the team that comes out on top.


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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • an
    2 November 2022

    I am questioning... If a firm similar to GS asked it's employees to use their personal mobile phones instead of providing professional phones and then used an information collection system as WADU without their consent, would it be able to legally use the collected information to justify a layout?

    Or would the information collected be improperly collected, and thus not usable to fire someone they didn't like for any mysterious reasons....

  • an
    2 November 2022

    I am questioning myself... If a company like GS asked their employees to use their personal mobiles for work and monitored all their data with a WADU like system, including personal information, and without consent, would a layoff based on the use of such information be legal?

  • pb
    22 October 2022

    So as to the subject matter, since when has any bank worried about layoffs being fair? I worked for a bank that says it never lays off employees, but it found a way to dump piles of good people without 'laying off' anyone. But a bunch of managers made out very well. Point being, those in power come out ok, anyone else is prone to being painted with a target regardless of how good they are.

  • Ja
    18 October 2022

    Are you telling me that of the hundreds of potential languages you could have chosen, you decided to choose Hebrew, without fathoming the implications?

    Either you are downright dim or happy with peddling anti semitic dribble!

    All being said, this article (like most of your articles) is merely clickbait without any meaningful content.

  • Sa
    Sarah Butcher
    18 October 2022

    We've changed the photo. Apologies to anyone who was offended. Ignorantly, I didn't realize the implications

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