The Evolution of Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Coverage Model

14 MAY 2018

As the deal-making landscape becomes increasingly complex, investment bankers have adapted to meet the changing needs of the companies they work with. Goldman Sachs’ Matt Gibson, co-head of Global Investment Banking Services and Elizabeth Tyndell, co-head of Experienced Hire Recruiting, share their thoughts on the changing landscape and how it’s impacting hiring.

How has the investment banking business changed?

Matt Gibson: Our business remains highly competitive. While the landscape of competitors has changed over time (less penetration of European banks in the US, more boutiques), the human capital focused on the client opportunity set remains significant. What has changed is clients are more sophisticated now, they have many tools at their fingertips to do by themselves much of what we did for them 10 or 20 years ago. So the impetus is on us to continue to find ways to add value to an increasingly competitive and self-reliant client base.

So, how has that changed the way investment bankers cover clients?

MG: Our focus remains on the strength of the relationship with the client.  As much as things change, the one thing that doesn’t change is clients want to work with bankers they trust and respect. To put ourselves closer to clients, we’ve expanded our physical presence into selected additional major North American cities. Our approach has been to deploy experienced bankers in Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle and Toronto – cities with a significant client presence and a thriving business community. These markets are also home to important investors, corporate directors and other business leaders and influencers. Currently, our senior bankers are building out their teams in those cities and are weaving themselves into the fabric of their communities. Our overall objective is to marry a strong local presence with continued industry content and world-class M&A and financing capabilities. We believe it can be done, and that it will make us better.

What does that mean for your hiring practices?

MG: We’ve been focused on selected lateral hiring of investment bankers, especially experienced ones, in addition to the talented people that we bring in through our campus and internship programs. To grow our revenues across the economic cycle, we need to invest in our business, which to us means hiring the best people, and more of them. We plan to hire a significant number of lateral hire bankers globally this year and next year, more than we have in the past. By hiring these additional resources, we hope to not only cover more clients, but also to have each banker be able to spend more time with their existing clients.

What does hiring “the best” mean for banking at Goldman Sachs?

ET: The expansion of our footprint has provided our recruiting team an opportunity to partner with our banking colleagues to find and recruit extraordinary people, in new locations, who possess the attributes for success at our firm, which include strong communication, interpersonal and analytical skills, a genuine passion for the markets, and someone who thrives in a dynamic and team-focused environment. As we bring in new professionals, we remain focused, as always, on those who have diverse backgrounds, skillsets and experiences because these will in turn help us better serve our clients.

Once new bankers join the firm, what can they expect?

MG: We recently launched an integration program for senior lateral hires to facilitate smooth integration into the Firm. We are spending a lot of time on this because it is important that we get it right.

What resources does Goldman Sachs provide to new bankers as part of the integration program?

ET: We want every banker who joins the firm to have a positive experience - from their first call with us through their integration as a new hire. We know that acclimating to a new environment can sometimes be difficult. And so, with our increased focus on hiring, particularly at more senior levels, ensuring we get this right is as important as ever. Our integration approach is tailored to each new joiner and aims to provide them with a clear understanding of their role and the many resources available to help them succeed.  We also know the importance of relationships both inside and outside of the firm and so networking and connectivity is another core element of our onboarding approach.

Learn more about careers in our Investment Banking Division.