Why did Goldman Sach’s grow its headcount so aggressively?

Goldman’s sharp headcount growth in recent years is due in part to a hiring spree in engineering talent for Marcus, its consuming-facing digital bank, as well as from various acquisitions like fintech lender GreenSky. Talent has gotten costlier, too; during the pandemic, big banks had to bump up pay to retain junior employees.


Despite market volatility and a dramatic slowdown in the kinds of deals that proliferated in the pandemic, staff increases at Goldman, and at investment banks broadly, continued into the third quarter of 2022.

Now though, Goldman plans on pulling back its consumer banking ambitions to reach profitability targets. Its bet on Marcus, which has been viewed skeptically by Wall Street and has yet to turn a profit, is set to cost the company billions. Goldman’s shares are down 1.4% today and have lost nearly 13% since the start of the year.

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