Inside views on the jobs market
Ahh, just when you could use a stiff drink on the company’s tab to kill the sobering mood wrought by this year’s financial carnage, you find out you’ll be coughing up for the bill yourself at the annual holiday shindig. Such is the case for scores of London’s financial workers. As Reuters’ Olesya Dmitracova reports, employees at some of the biggest names in town – Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, Barclays and so on – will be on the hook for their own year-end parties. A reasonable cost-cutting measure, it seems, during these often unreasonable times. Too bad, though, for those who get stuck drinking swill should their annual bonus get slashed too.
Across the pond, some employees of failed Washington Mutual received some less digestible news on Friday. JPMorgan, which bought WaMu’s banking operations in September, announced job cuts were on the way for some at the former thrift’s Seattle headquarters and elsewhere. Though overall numbers are still not known, and most will retain their jobs, at least 1,600 back-office WaMu staff who worked in California got word they’d be out of a job by March. More concrete figures and dates for others are expected on Monday. How’s that for a start to the holiday season?
Has the credit crunch hurt your end-of-year party plans?
Some in the financial industry apparently smell opportunity in the latest round of mergers and blood-letting among top banks.
Referring to the Wells Fargo takeover of Wachovia as the WWF and placing Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis atop a bucking Merrill Lynch bull are just a couple of the attention-getting devices financial sector recruiting firm RJ & Makay uses in its latest promotional You Tube video.
Goldman Sachs sent the business media abuzz this weekend with news that its top executives were voluntarily giving up their annual bonus in a gesture they hope will spread to the rest of the Street. The decision immediately won the praise of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who hailed the move as a “step in the right direction”, while the firm’s spokesperson said, “They believe it’s the right thing to do.”
But don’t expect any applause just yet, at least not from Main Street. Taxpayers around the globe are still fuming about their respective government’s multibillion dollar bank rescue schemes, prompting no shortage of snarky editorials pointing to bloated paycheques and bankers’ cavalier actions for the financial meltdown.
Usually when a company announces dreaded plans to “cut costs” or “restructure”, it’s a sure sign a new batch of employees are about to be axed. But in a refreshing new take on saving money in the corporate world, one company has decided to move in a decidedly unique direction.
The term is “career break“, a solution that Irish Life & Permanent’s banking division has come up with in a bid to slash costs, not jobs. The plan offers employees $25,000 to $45,140 to take a 2- or 3-year “break” from their jobs, thus cutting expenses without actually firing anyone. The company didn’t say how many employees are planning to accept the offer — nor did it mention whether said jobs would still exist after the “break” was over — but it hopes the plan will appeal to bankers looking for more flexibility in their careers.
The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Nov.10, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC
Goldman Sachs has identified the six equity analysts fired by the company. Ousted are William Tanona, who covered companies such as JPMorgan Chase & Co; Deane Dray, who followed Honeywell International Inc; Charles Chon; Ajay Kejriwal; Lawrence Keusch and Peter Wahlstrom.
The following financial services industry appointment was announced on October 29, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail email@example.com.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Wednesday promoted 94 employees to partner, the firm’s highest rank and one offering lucrative bonuses. Every two years, Goldman names a class of managing directors to the exclusive rank of “partner managing director.” The system offers about 400 employees the chance to share a fifth of the firm’s total compensation pool.
After a seemingly endless run of job cuts this week, Chrysler’s plan to slash a whopping 25 percent of its white-collar jobs handily goes to show how quickly problems in the finance sector leak into the rest of the economy.
Add 3,300 people to the long list of casualties of the credit crunch. Sources say Goldman Sachs plans to slash more than 10 percent of its workforce, a sobering sign of the times for a Wall Street stalwart that has largely dodged the massive credit losses that have taken out its peers. Once heralded as “tarnished, but not broken”, the latest round of job cuts will bring the bank’s headcount to the lowest level since 2006.
“These are not the last job cuts you will see,” warned Michael Williams, dean of Pepperdine University’s Graziado School of Business.
The New York Times’ Dealbook takes a look at some of Wall Street’s biggest movers and shakers as they have played musical chairs in the last few months:
Days after Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, it emerged that Mr. Shafir, a global cohead of mergers and acquisitions, was leaving for Citigroup. Mr. Shafir stayed long enough to help sell Lehman’s United States capital-markets business to Barclays.