Goldman Sachs Grows Digital Team to 10,000 Developers, 25% of Workforce

Four years into a shift to embrace consumers with a digital focus, Goldman Sachs is doing all it can to compete with leading tech companies.

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Need to Know

  • At a recent conference, Goldman Sachs co-CIO outlined the bank’s shift to digital and the increasing need for tech talent.
  • Currently, 25% of Goldman Sachs employees are developers, amounting to over 10,000 workers.
  • Goldman Sachs is competing with tech giants Google, Microsoft, and Amazon in the recruiting arena as it focuses on creating digital banking tools for consumers.
  • Recruiting for digital teams in banks is difficult due to strict regulatory concerns that keep financial institutions from offering widespread perks such as work-from-home.

Analysis

Transforming into a consumer-facing digital bank is no easy feat, even if that bank is Goldman Sachs. 

That’s why Goldman Sachs’ co-chief information officer, George Lee, said that they’re recruiting against some of Silicon Valley’s top technology companies. Even though they already employ 10,000 engineers, which represents 25% of the bank’s workforce, the hunt for talent continues as the need for user-friendly banking technology grows. 

Goldman Sachs’ first consumer-facing app, Marcus, was initially a drain on resources but remains a crucial part of the bank’s restructured focus.

“We aspire to be the leading digital consumer bank. We’re starting with loans, we added savings and cards, and we’re working to build out the balance of the digital products suite, including wealth and checking,” said Eric Lane, global co-head of the consumer and investment management division. 

Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs released Marcus as a mobile app, a long-time coming after releasing it to consumers in 2016. Marcus is Goldman Sachs’ first effort at becoming a consumer-facing bank and has well over four million users across the US and UK. Goldman Sachs also recently unveiled plans to integrate checking accounts into Marcus.

Now, the Wall Street giant is going toe-to-toe with tech leaders like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook to hire more talent to expand their offerings, on the heels of their successful partnership with Apple on the Apple Card. 

“The trend is very much toward technology companies,” said Lee, when asked about the source of the bank’s engineering staff. “We need to compete at that level.”

However, finding the balance between the work culture in tech companies and the security and privacy limitations that exist in banking has been a challenge. Not only that, but the challenges of a distributed, global workforce is making Goldman Sachs adapt to evolving development needs.

In order for Goldman to succeed as a digital-first bank, the company must lean into software trends, including open-source technology and distributed workforces. Three key locations Goldman Sachs outlined as tech hubs included Bengaluru, Warsaw, and Dallas.

Marco Argenti, previously the VP of technology at Amazon Web Services, also joined Goldman Sachs in 2019, with the hope of tapping his network for engineering talent, as well as doing outreach at college campuses. 

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