Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs is one of the most successful investment banks in history. It is involved in a wide variety of investment banking and securities trading activities. Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 by a German immigrant Marcus Goldman. Like most investment banks of the time it was set up as a partnership. For many years in the 1980s and 1990s when other investment banks were becoming companies Goldman Sachs resisted the trend and stayed as a partnership. Goldman Sachs finally incorporated in 1999 and is still known for its partnership culture.

Goldman Sachs is well known for its political connections in the American government, having well placed and influential former executives in the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. Many of their critics charge that it is as a result of the influence that they do very well. Goldman Sachs counter that there is a tradition of public spirit in the firm that means that executives, who usually retire in their late forties to mid fifties, are more likely than those in other investment banks to enter politics or public administration.

Goldman Sachs has a reputation for paying some of the largest bonuses in an industry that is famous for paying large bonuses to attract talent. Many employees of Goldman Sachs end up as millionaires after a few years of working for the company. However Goldman Sachs is known for working its employees very hard and for getting rid of a large proportion of them. It claims that its hard work, high reward culture is crucial in attracting the best talent along with its partnership ethos.

Goldman Sachs is headquartered in New York, although it has a large presence in all the large financial centers including Toronto. Goldman Sachs is split into three main divisions. The divisions are Investment Banking, Asset Management and Security Services, and Trading and Principle Investments. The Investment Banking division is mainly concerned with a Financial Advisory role, advising companies on issues such as stock market offerings and mergers. Asset Management and Securities services provide investment advisory as well as traditional clerical services such as custody services.

The trading arm deals with a wide range of assets including commodities, currency, bonds and shares. It makes up around two thirds of Goldman’s income, although they have been aiming unsuccessfully to shrink this share. The arm trades on Goldman’s own account and for Goldman’s clients.

Goldman Sachs Capital Partners is Goldman Sachs’ private equity arm. It makes large equity investments on behalf of Goldman Sachs and private clients. It includes large well known companies such as Sequoia Credit Consolidation and Myers Industries. Goldman Sachs has an active corporate citizenship program involving a foundation and backing for employee ventures. The foundation has given out $114 million to efforts involving youth education. It also matches employee contributions to charity of up to $20,000 and gives time off to help charitable causes. It has set up a half billion dollar fund to help small businesses. There has been some criticism that this is a tiny part of their total profits.

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