Finance

Goldman Sachs just hired two senior recruiting execs focused on luring top talent from other firms — and an early task will be hiring more than 350 people for 2 big tech projects

  • Goldman Sachs has hired not one but two new recruiters whose entire job will be to find talent at other firms and bring them to Goldman, according to an internal memo sent this month and seen by Business Insider.
  • The focus on lateral hiring represents a departure for Goldman Sachs, which has historically preferred to promote from within. 
  • One of the new additions, Michael Dillon, will focus on the securities division, where he will be charged with hiring for two key projects, Marquee and Atlas, among others. 
  • The firm plans to hire more than 350 people for Marquee and Atlas combined, according to a person with knowledge of the hiring plans. A spokesperson declined to comment for this story. 
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Two decades ago, the idea would have been heresy at Goldman Sachs: an executive dedicated to hiring employees from other firms. The best and the brightest could almost always be found in-house.

Not anymore. Goldman Sachs has hired not one but two new recruiters whose entire job will be to find talent at other firms and bring them to Goldman, according to an internal memo sent this month and viewed by Business Insider.

Other execs will continue to focus on filling positions from within and promoting the firm’s most talented. 

To be sure, Goldman has opened up since its 1999 IPO, but until David Solomon became CEO, the firm generally shied away from making lateral hires into its most senior ranks as partner.

And Goldman has had recruiters focused on lateral hiring in the past, but they weren’t managing directors and they didn’t have the mandate to focus on hiring for all types of roles across specific divisions.

Solomon, himself a lateral hire when he joined from Bear Stearns in 1999, has said that hiring from outside is critical to meeting the goals he has set for the firm, particularly around increasing the diversity of the workforce. He’s already shown a willingness to make outside hires, disrupting the status quo by hiring numerous partners in areas like investment banking and consumer finance where he wants to grow. 

The firm is still so focused on promoting from within that it touts the percentage of people who started at Goldman Sachs when it announces new promotions. Two out of every three employees named managing director in November started at Goldman as an analyst or associate, according to the firm’s figures. Roughly the same percentage were named partners the preceding year, according to the firm.  

To speed up its lateral hiring, Goldman hired Michael Dillon from JPMorgan and Maureen Reiley Reed from Citadel into the recruiting department, according to the Jan. 6 memo from Caroline Heller, head of talent management at the Wall Street firm. Dillon will focus on hiring for the securities division and research roles, and Reed will focus on hiring for the consumer and investment management division. The will join as managing directors. 

On the hunt for technologists 

While Goldman may have preferred to hire from within when the business was dominated by investment bankers and traders, Wall Street’s business is increasingly going electronic and necessitating the need to find and attract people with skill sets developed in industries outside financial services. Wall Street is on the hunt for technologists, for example, with Bloomberg reporting this week that Citigroup alone expected to hire 2,500 programmers this year. 

Many of those are likely to come from Silicon Valley startups or large tech firms like Google, Facebook, or Amazon. The bank recently replaced its top two engineers with execs it hired from Big Tech: Marco Argenti joined from Amazon Web Services, while Atte Lahtiranta joined after stints at Verizon and Nokia. Both came on as partners. 

In their recruiting roles, Dillon and Reed will be asked to hire traders and salespeople, and portfolio managers, respectively, but also engineers, operations execs, and other employee functions across the respective divisions they will support.

For Dillon, that means hiring for two of the securities division’s most visible projects, Marquee and Atlas. Marquee is the firm’s risk-management and trading platform, while Atlas is a three-year, $100 million effort to overhaul Goldman’s stock-trading technology.

Together, the two projects will mean hiring more than 350 technologists, according to a person with knowledge of the effort. A Goldman spokesperson declined to comment for this story.

And Goldman is hiring for hundreds more: The bank had 833 job postings on Glassdoor, as of midday on Tuesday.

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