Lloyd Blankfein explains a new strategy at Goldman that's great news for young people

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein Releases Annual Letter
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein Releases Annual Letter

Goldman Sachs has found a way to cut costs without reducing its employee headcount — and it's good news for young people.

CEO Lloyd Blankfein noted in hisannual shareholder letter released earlier this week that overall compensation and benefits expenses have dropped by about $270 million over the past four years, while total staff levels are up 11%.

"Through a combination of shifting to a greater percentage of junior employees and relocating some of our footprint to lower-cost locations, we have managed our expenses well," Blankfein wrote.

Specifically, the number of analysts, associates, and vice presidents — that is, the more junior employees — is up 17% over the past four years, while the more senior managing director and partner population is down 2%.

The average front-officemanaging director at top-tier banks earns about $1 million per year in salary and bonus, while analysts make on average $110,000, associates make $197,500, and VPs make $325,000.

A significant portion of Goldman Sachs' new hires, however, are in the operations, technology, and compliance divisions, rather than the revenue-producing divisions like investment banking or sales and trading, the firm has previously stated.

Goldman Sachs has also been outsourcing jobs from high-cost centers like New York City and London to lower-cost locations like Salt Lake City, Dallas, Irving, Warsaw, Singapore, and Bengaluru. About 25% of staff is now based in low-cost centers, Blankfein noted in the letter.

"Looking ahead, we will continue to pursue ways to be more cost effective by assessing our expense structure while ensuring we meet the needs of our clients," Blankfein wrote.

Goldman Sachs will release first-quarter earnings next Tuesday, April 19.