9/11/2013 11:18 AM ET|
Goldman Sachs ditches a great employee perk
By keeping low-level workers out of its illustrious asset-management services, the company dampens the finance sector's appeal.
As the folks at New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer blog point out, a change to the firm's asset-management services earlier this year created a schism between its high-earning alums and those paid more modestly.
For years, one of the greatest perks of working for Goldman was the ability to keep your personal stock portfolio and other financial holdings within the firm's prestigious asset-management division regardless of your salary, even after you had left or retired.
As Goldman grew from 13,000 employees at the time it went public in 1999 to more than 30,000 today, its perks have become a bit less lush.
According to several ex-employees, Goldman earlier this year began requiring employees with less than $1 million in assets at the firm to pay a $3,000 annual fee to keep their Goldman accounts open. The firm followed up with a letter telling below-limit account holders they would be forced to move their accounts to Fidelity by the end of 2014.
Goldman has since been so inundated with calls about the switch from employees and alums alike that its toll-free number for employee financial services kicks off with: "Please press 1 if your call is regarding the Fidelity migration."
"The platform we've developed is for a high-net-worth customer," an unnamed source told Daily Intelligencer. "A huge chunk of the people who work for us do not fall into that category."
The ugly bit of truth is that Goldman cared about its lower-income employees' pedestrian assets only because it had to. Employees were once forced to keep their assets in-house for compliance reasons. Recently, Goldman worked out a deal to shift accounts of current and former employees into a "broker of choice" arrangement with Fidelity.
As much as lower-level employees may hate losing all that high-end financial help, it's only part of a perks package that's been steadily disintegrating over the last decade. While Goldman once gave all of its employees shares after the company's public offering in 1999, it steadily stopped allowing employees to have their taxes prepared by in-house accountants and from getting home mortgages made through arrangements with the firm.
With Harvard graduates already shunning Wall Street for more altruistic and techy careers, disappearing perks aren't exactly helping financial firms turn the tide.
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