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Goldman Sachs’ 2000 people in Hong Kong have had a party

A few weeks ago, Goldman Sachs’ staff in Hong Kong, some 2,000 people in total, threw a party.

The reason for that was perfectly innocuous. The bank was celebrating its 40th anniversary in the city, a period in which it grew from “two people in one room” to two entire offices – nine floors of the Cheung Kong Center and a second presence in Lee Garden Three, Causeway Bay.

Goldman’s presence in the city stretches back to 1983, and whilst the current offices being bigger than first one is a strong sign of growth, it’s not all been smooth sailing. The bank went through a round of cuts at the end of last year.

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The number that departed wasn’t huge compared to overall headcount figure there, but it was pretty noticeable given that it came at the tail end of a growth surge in the city – SCMP reported that the bank was seeking to hire around 400 people to its China & Hong Kong offices in 2021. Goldman's Hong Kong layoffs have also likely continued into this year, given the various rounds of cuts at the firm, although they've been a little more undercover.

Goldman’s Hong Kong office is headed up by Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) chief Kevin Sneader. He joined from McKinsey & Co, the management consultancy, where he spent 32 years, including a three-year stint as the firm’s global managing partner.

British-Canadian Sneader is in many ways not a typical Goldman hire, however. In Hong Kong, Goldman likes to recruit from local universities for its offices. It has three favourites: University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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