Goldman Sachs partner ranks thin


There was always a downside to becoming a Goldman Sachs partner.

For many, winning that coveted title basically represents a personal high water mark. But "Partner" is hardly a life-long designation at Goldman Sachs. As soon as you made partner, you have to start thinking about what you want to do next, because the average life of a Goldman Sachs partner is only about seven years.

As of now anyway, the partner ranks have been greatly reduced, according to media reports. The bank has reduced the number of partners to 407, down 31 from February numbers. The bank's filing did not identify the partners, but Bloomberg Businessweek made a credible attempt to identify who was no longer a partner.

The bank may have been happy to get the ranks down ahead of the coming announcement of new partners, which the bank names every two years. Most assume that the bank would like to maintain some discipline in terms of the sheer number of partners to help keep its compensation in check.

I'm not so sure it matters greatly at this point to the bottom line. It does seem as if partners are departing at a somewhat higher rate than usual. But it may reflect some natural causes. Some partners stayed on through the crisis, to prevent an image of a sinking-ship bailout. In any case, it would be nice if management could address this.

For more:
- here's a Reuters article

Related articles:
Goldman Sachs naming fewer partners
Explaining the Goldman Sachs exodus


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