Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs - NYT Op-Ed
This Op-Ed has gotten lots of attention on the Net today. I first saw it on LinkedIn while at work and found it of sufficient interest to print it out and read it thoroughly. I’m not changing into some OWS protester, nor am I blind to the potential for this to be a simply hit piece, but the allegations made herein are fairly severe and are presented without any “ZOMG!!1” tone so often found in hit pieces. I believe in honesty as much as Greg Smith says he does (and I believe him when he makes that claim), and it is in the spirit on honesty that I post this and invite any comments and insights:
TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.
It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.
But this was not always the case. (End Excerpt)
Please read the whole thing, it’s worth it.