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Please, no more 80-hour work weeks, Goldman rookie bankers beg

March 19, 2021, 9:07 AM UTC

Hundred-hour weeks on the job. Declining physical and mental health. The heightened chance of fleeing the bank in very short order.

Those are among the laments of 13 first-year analysts in Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s investment-banking group who surveyed themselves, according to a presentation making the rounds on social media. They shared their findings with managers. The grousing was serious enough that the Wall Street firm is enacting new measures, including forgoing some business to help keep the workload more manageable, according to a Goldman executive with knowledge of the matter.

Wall Street has long been the industry of choice for those who can tolerate long hours, and that’s proven even more true during the pandemic. But complaints of not having time to eat or shower, appearing in the deck, are at odds with the softer, kinder Wall Street that senior industry executives have presented in a bid to attract and retain talent.

“We recognize that our people are very busy, because business is strong and volumes are at historic levels,” said Nicole Sharp, a spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs. “A year into Covid, people are understandably quite stretched, and that’s why we are listening to their concerns and taking multiple steps to address them.”

The analysts even suggested solutions for the bank, such as maxing out their workweeks at 80 hours and avoiding last-minute changes to presentations for client meetings — a notable dig at Wall Street’s constant “pls fix, thanks” culture.

“Junior bankers should not be expected to do any work after 9 p.m. Friday or all day Saturday without a pre-approved exception, as that is the only safe-guarded personal time that we get,” they wrote in the presentation.