Goldman Sachs layoffs are slated to hit within days and could target up to 4,000 employees

January 8, 2023, 12:00 PM UTC
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. headquarters in London on Nov. 22, 2022.
Goldman is expected to lay off up to 4,000 employees next week.
Jason Alden—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Goldman Sachs is expected to lay off thousands of employees this week, just months after unveiling a major reorganization.

Goldman, a leading Wall Street investment bank, is slated to announce its anticipated job cuts on Wednesday, two people familiar with the matter said. Though both were expecting the moves to happen on Wednesday, they noted that the timing could certainly change. The 154-year-old firm is expected to slash up to 4,000 positions globally, or 8% of its workforce, one of the people said. It employs about 49,000 people.

Goldman is also expected to cut its annual bonus pool by 40% to 50%, while another 5% to 10% of staffers aren’t getting bonuses, the people said.

Goldman declined to comment. 

The reductions are a reaction to the decrease in investment banking revenue at Goldman. In 2021, mergers and initial public offerings posted their best year ever but a broad market contraction (along with recession fears, the war in Ukraine, and inflation) caused M&A and IPOs to slow down significantly last year. In the third quarter, Goldman reported $11.98 billion in revenue. More than half of that came from global markets, which includes trading and sales. Investment banking revenue dropped 57% in Q3 to $1.58 billion. The unit generated just 13% of Goldman’s third quarter revenue last year, down from 27% in 2021.

The job cuts come just months after Goldman announced a reorganization that streamlined its businesses into three units. As Fortune reported, Goldman combined its asset and wealth management units into one segment, and put investment banking and global markets, along with trading, into a second segment. A third unit, called Platform Solutions, consolidated fintech platforms from across Goldman including transaction banking, consumer partnerships (mainly credit cards with Apple and General Motors), and specialty lender GreenSky. Shares of Goldman are down about 14% from their 52-week high of $403.05 in January 2022. The stock on Friday closed at $348.08.

The reorg signaled that Goldman was sidelining Marcus, its digital bank, which offers high-yield savings accounts and personal loans to millions of customers. The corporate shuffle has already produced one of its first victims. Swati Bhatia, a former PayPal executive and head of the Marcus business, is retiring from Goldman, according to a memo seen by Fortune. Bhatia, who was also co-CEO of Greensky, will become an advisory director, the memo said.

Zeeshan Razzaqui, a longtime Goldman executive, will become co-head of merchant point-of-sale lending or GreenSky, according to a second memo viewed by Fortune. Razzaqui will partner with David Zalik, who cofounded GreenSky in 2006 and joined Goldman last year as a partner after GS completed its $2.24 billion purchase of the buy-now-pay-later fintech, in March 2022. Razzaqui initially joined Goldman in 2001 as an analyst but left in 2003. He rejoined the firm in 2006, was named partner last year, and was previously global chief operating officer of Goldman consumer and wealth management, the second memo said. 

Goldman has been looking to contain costs and perks. Employees at the firm’s Manhattan headquarters at 200 West St. are no longer receiving free coffee at Goldman’s Sky Lobby on the 11th floor. Instead, they must pay $2.99 for a cup of “Seattle’s best,” Fortune reported. (Goldman still offers free coffee on each of its floors.) 

Goldman has largely navigated the worsening economy better than its peers, although CEO David Solomon has continuously warned of a deteriorating economic outlook. At the Wall Street Journal‘s CEO Council Summit last week, Solomon said he expected the stock market’s slide to continue into 2023 and estimated the odds of a recession hitting the U.S. economy at around two-thirds.

Goldman is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 17. The investment bank is on track to post about $48 billion in annual revenue for 2022, Bloomberg said in December. This would be Goldman’s best performance since 2021, when the firm reported a record $59.34 billion in revenue.

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