Goldman Sachs' performance reviews has some staffers 'humble bragging' about assessing their colleagues

Goldman Sachs' performance reviews has some staffers 'humble bragging' about assessing their colleagues
Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Hi. I'm Aaron Weinman. Goldman Sachs' "Strategic Resource Assessment," or SRA, enables the bank to cull low-performing bankers at the end of the year.


Let's unpack the process, which staffers have described as a stressful exercise that piles on an already hefty workload.

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1. Goldman Sachs' staffers are burning the midnight oil to determine their colleagues' jobs and bonuses. The bank's employees solicit feedback from colleagues about how they embody Goldman's culture, among other things, and it's part of how Goldman determines who gets axed at the end of the year.


Three employees described the process as a stressful, labor-intensive rite of passage. It's time consuming, and can involve currying favor among peers to ensure they vouch for you when you're under the microscope.

Reviewers must rate colleagues as "outperforming," "meeting expectations," or "underperforming" across different categories.

Some of those categories involve embodying the "One Goldman Sachs" way, which includes teamwork and collaboration across business lines, and being cognizant of risk and control-related issues.

If you're reviewing someone, you don't want to throw anyone under the bus by giving them anything less than a seven (out of 10), one person familiar with the process told Insider.

Then there are people saying they've got "25 reviews to write tonight," according to an ex-Goldman staffer, who described this kind of chat as "humble brags" around the office.


No matter what, I wouldn't want to catch anyone flushing a picture of me down Goldman analyst Jake Chasan's virtual toilet bowl app Swirly.

Here, Insider's Reed Alexander dives into Goldman Sachs' performance review.

In other news:

Goldman Sachs' performance reviews has some staffers 'humble bragging' about assessing their colleagues
Thomas Gottstein, Credit Suisse CEO, could depart the bank on WednesdayArnd Wiegmann/Reuters

2. Credit Suisse Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein will step down. Ulrich Körner, who runs Credit Suisse's asset-management business, will replace him. Gottstein's departure from the bank was discussed on Wall Street for months, especially as Credit Suisse has come under the microscope for costly risk management errors.


3. BlackRock's Obsidian Fund was down 19.2% year to date earlier this month. Here's how the money manager, and its peers at Pimco and Janus Henderson are performing amid the current market turmoil.

4. Sticking with BlackRock, it's pushed companies to go green. But now it's throwing its weight behind fewer environmental and social proposals.

5. Cresset became a $27 billion wealth manager in less than five years with top private bankers and aggressive M&A. Cofounder Avy Stein shared the firm's key to growth and its appeal to elite advisors.

6. New business applications soared to a record 5.3 million in 2021, up from about 4 million in 2020. Here are 12 fintech startups every small-business owner should know.

7. Returning to Credit Suisse, the Swiss bank is offering retention pay to hold onto some of its best dealmakers, Bloomberg reported. One US-based senior banker could make $10 million over two years.


8. Faltering buy-now-pay-later fintechs can learn from Citizens Bank's model. Gaurav Sethi, who oversees the bank's Citizens Pay strategy and product, told Insider it's more than "just a way to pay."

9. Coinbase faces a probe from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Bloomberg. The regulator is looking into whether the crypto firm offered unregistered securities.

10. Twitter has set a shareholder vote on Elon Musk's buyout for September 13. Twitter's board urged shareholders to vote for the deal, after Musk — who initially agreed to purchase the company for $44 billion in April — tried to terminate the agreement. Here's the latest.

Done deals:

You're invited: Join us on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at noon ET for a virtual panel presented by Schneider Electric, examining what companies and governments can do to make a sustainable future possible. Sign up here.


Curated by Aaron Weinman in New York. Tips? Email or tweet @aaronw11. Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.