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It’s always been a vile place

Goldman Sachs’ former recruitment chief has accused it of creating a “culture of bullying” that caused staff to “sob” through meetings and led to him having a mental breakdown.

Ian Dodd, who left the bank in 2021, claimed that Goldman employees frequently “express distress” by crying and that “sobbing through meetings” was common behaviour, according to documents filed in the High Court.

Mr Dodd also alleged that there was a “culture of bullying” at Goldman and that comments such as “take that as your first punch in the face” or references to staff members receiving a “slap” or “punch” were condoned.

There are many investment banks out there. Each with their own specific culture. This on, GS, has long been known for being vile. Well, don’t work there then. Some folk like intense competition. Others don’t. So, have different institutions each with their own culture and allow folk to choose which one to work at……

13 thoughts on “It’s always been a vile place”

  1. My wife did six months freelance at GS a few years back. They asked her to extend the contract to 12 months, she told them where to stick it. As you say, a vile place. Not helped by their policy of making promotions, pay rises and bonuses be partly determined by team feedback, which leads to a horrendous mix of bullying, arse licking and cronyism. Worse than teenage girls.

  2. You’re reminding me of the Jack Aubrey novels I’ve read.

    How often did they flog ’em at the grating?

  3. ” that “sobbing through meetings” was common behaviour, ”

    Isn’t that normal for meetings?
    Usually you keep the crying on the Inside, along with the exclamations of despair and exasperation, but there’s nothing more soul-destroying than meetings with Manglement.

  4. When a youngster in my extended family started in the management consulting game there was often sobbing in the office. Nothing to do with misbehaviour – they all worked absurdly long hours and became exhausted. They were sobbing because they desperately needed sleep.

    Mind you, I did enjoy one comment. “It’s nice when we get a job for a public sector outfit. They work such short days that we don’t get worn out by being the last to leave the office.”

    My overview, however, was that it seemed daft to me that firms would pay for work done by exhausted novices. Funny old world.

  5. I’d like to see some of these people work in factory or on a building site. Where “take that as your first punch in the face” would actually involve a fat lip.
    It’s like our newly famous nonce. WTF has he to be “depressed” about?

  6. As you say, a vile place. Not helped by their policy of making promotions, pay rises and bonuses be partly determined by team feedback, which leads to a horrendous mix of bullying, arse licking and cronyism.
    When I worked in the City, that was the default for everywhere. Some employers were much, much worse. Don’t remember anyone in tears though. Wouldn’t have done you any good.

  7. pay rises and bonuses be partly determined by team feedback

    Having worked there once for over a decade I can confidently say that that is the bollocks they want people to believe. In practice the employee selects who to give feedback, so many have a reciprocal arrangement with their mates to scratch each others back and give great feedback. There was always a management panic at the end of the year before bonuses are announced to get all the appraisals done and preserve the illusion that the feedback had any relevance. In fact the “shares” of the bonus pot were determined much earlier in the year by the department manger and their manger. At bonus time a formula was used to turn that into the total comp and from there, what the salary will be for the next year.

    It was some time back but I found the people there to be friendly. The mantra then was “be nice to people because one day they might be your boss”. Sobbing was normally confined to those meetings where people were told that they were being “let go” and that was normally just before bonus time too making it particularly painful.

    The only time I made someone cry was when one of my team rolled in late and missed the time management course I had put him on to help with his one problem area. He cried when I told him that I obviously cared more about his career than hid did. It must have been true as a few years later he asked me for personal references a few times.

  8. I worked in an investment banking house for a couple of years and some of it really was as vile as people say. Most people were OK, but there are others who I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire. Terrible people. The egos, the aggressive behaviour, the sense of entitlement, I could go on. Some of them got walked for poor performance and others were given a whack by the regulator, which was fun.

  9. Didn’t Rishi Sunak work at GS? Somehow I can imagine him crying after a metaphorical slap to the face.

  10. The advice I got as a potential customer was, “Don’t go there. GS doesn’t have clients. They only have counter-parties”

  11. @Andrew M

    I suspect Rishi’s slap in the face was being told at the end of his fixed 3 year Analyst stint, that he wasn’t good enough for his position to be made permanent. The Analysts needed to work their balls off to get any chance of a real job at the end of. They and legal were the ones who often pulled all nighters when a deal was going to be signed the next morning.

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