In March, Greg Smith, a Goldman Sachs executive director—and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa—quit the firm and published a scathing op-ed in the NY Times, calling "the environment now... as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it." Now that Smith's book, Why I Quit Goldman Sachs, is about to hit bookstores (real and virtual), Goldman is fighting back—and Goldman don't play nice! Bloomberg News reports that Smith "was denied a raise and a promotion in the weeks before he resigned in March, documents provided by Goldman show."
Smith's memoir sold for over $1 million, and it apparently has few new details—unless you're dying for anecdotes about a banker throwing out a cheese salad from an intern because the item requested was actually a cheese sandwich. Smith does write about how idiot clients were referred to as "muppets," which was mentioned in the Times op-ed. But the documents from Goldman about Smith are new!
From Bloomberg News:
Smith, 33, told one of his managers in a December 2011 meeting that he expected to earn more than $1 million a year, about double what he was making at the time as an executive director in London, according to a summary of Goldman Sachs’s investigation into Smith’s claims. He also said in the meeting that he wasn’t advancing up the corporate ladder fast enough and expected to win the promotion to managing director he had repeatedly stated as a goal in self-evaluations.
His bosses were incredulous. New York-based Goldman Sachs, the fifth-largest U.S. bank, was about to book its second-lowest profit in a decade and that year had eliminated almost a tenth of its workforce -- 3,400 jobs. The equity-derivatives desk Smith worked for in London had been told that compensation would be down “significantly,” according to the firm’s summary.
“Greg Smith off the charts unrealistic, thinks he shld [sic] trade at multiples,” one of Smith’s managers wrote in a January 2012 internal e-mail after informing him that his raise request and demand for promotion had been turned down.
Goldman hired a team to dig through various e-mails and conversations, as well as talk to those who worked with Smith (even way back during his internship days). Bloomberg News got a nine-page summary, "The documents paint a picture of Smith that is at odds with the image he fashioned for himself in the op-ed: an altruistic kid from Johannesburg, out of place in the rapacious, wealth-obsessed world of American high finance... Goldman Sachs’s document shows Smith as a striver, eager to make more money and frustrated when he didn’t advance. In his 2010 self-evaluation he made clear he wanted to stay at Goldman Sachs, saying, 'it is my goal to get promoted to managing director.'"