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Goldman Sachs’ Organizational Structure

Goldman Sachs has a hierarchical structure with a clear chain of command and defined career advancement process. The structure is also underpinned by business-type divisions and function-based groups.

Understanding Goldman Sachs’ organizational structure

Goldman Sachs has a somewhat hierarchical organizational structure with a clear chain of command.

The company is led by current Chairman and CEO David Solomon with a 14-member Board of Directors and a few levels of management underneath. 

The structure of Goldman Sachs is best exemplified by its career advancement process.

Recruits start as Analysts and are then promoted to Associate, Executive Director/Vice President, and occasionally, Managing Director.

Progression through these titles (except for Managing Director) is formal in the sense that it depends on the number of years served and the individual’s competence level.

Estimates suggest there are between 10,000 and 12,000 Vice Presidents employed at Goldman Sachs.

This is partly due to the time-sensitive nature of career progression, but also because few Vice Presidents possess the credentials to become Managing Directors.

Nevertheless, the high number of senior staff makes Goldman Sachs flatter in structure compared to a traditional financial institution such as a bank.

What’s more, each division is permitted to run its own recruitment process when selecting a new Vice President. 

While a clear chain of command exists, the combination of some divisional autonomy, thousands of senior personnel, and fewer levels of management (when compared to peers) mean the company embodies aspects of both a hierarchical and flat organizational structure

Business type divisions

Until recently, Goldman Sachs had four business-type divisions to reflect services it offered across banking, securities, and investment management. These included:

  1. Asset Management.
  2. Consumer & Wealth Management.
  3. Investment Banking, and
  4. Global Markets.

However, in October 2022, Chairman and CEO David Solomon announced a new structure to reflect a future where technology would hinder the company’s ability to make money as a transaction intermediary.

Solomon hoped that this new structure would enable the company to position itself as a digital bank with more diversified revenue streams.

The new structure has three business-type divisions which are yet to be formally named.

The first is a combination of asset, consumer and wealth management, while the second combines investment banking with global markets. The third unit houses Goldman Sachs’ digital offerings.

Function-based groups

The company also contains numerous function-based groups which Goldman Sachs also calls divisions on its website. 

Depending on the group, each is managed by one or more Executive Directors, Vice Presidents, or Managing Directors. Groups include:

  1. Conflicts Resolution Group.
  2. Controllers.
  3. Corporate & Workplace Solutions.
  4. Corporate Treasury.
  5. Engineering.
  6. Executive Office.
  7. Finance.
  8. Firmwide Strategy.
  9. Global Compliance.
  10. Global Investment Reach.
  11. Human Capital Management.
  12. Internal Audit.
  13. Legal.
  14. Operations.
  15. Risk, and
  16. Tax.

Key takeaways:

  • Goldman Sachs has a hierarchical structure with a clear chain of command and career advancement process. The structure is also underpinned by business-type divisions and function-based groups.
  • With some divisional autonomy, thousands of senior personnel, and fewer levels of management when compared to peers, the company embodies aspects of both a hierarchical and flat organizational structure.
  • The structure of Goldman Sachs is also supported by three business-type divisions which were recently reconfigured to diversify its revenue streams. There are also numerous functional groups which the company also calls divisions.

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