Goldman Bankers In London Complain As Management Ends Pandemic ‘Free Lunch’
Goldman’s offices in London have reached occupancy levels of more than 50% over the past few months, even as megabanks in the US and Europe have continued to delay their ‘return-to-office’ dates. With Goldman dominating the dealmaking league tables during the middle of a boom, if a few analysts get sick from coming into the office, well…that’s a small price to pay.
But unfortunately for those same junior bankers, who have been repeatedly shafted by Goldman management when it comes to bonuses and rewards and other perks (unlike peers at, say, Jeffries, who got Pelotons and other generous gifts), the Vampire Squid has also inadvertently deprived them of something else: lunch.
According to efinancialcareers, Goldman bankers are complaining that their favorite pre-pandemic London eateries have all closed, including old favorites like Burrito chain Chilango, which went into administration in August. Also gone: the Omino Steakhouse at St. Paul’s, and the local Sainsbury’s, which has been rationalized, plus numerous local cafés.
Why is this a problem for Goldman’s bankers? (surely, a local cafe is much too small to be considered a potential Goldman client)? Well, in an effort to “do its part” to try and revitalize City small businesses, the bank has abruptly stopped providing free lunch to in-office staff, and is now asking that London bankers leave the office for lunch and patronize a nearby business.
According to the FT, during the pandemic, Goldman began offering free breakfast, and lunch, as a perk for essential staff in London, mostly on the trading side. However, last week, the canteen suddenly reverted to a paid-for service. The change caught many employees by surprise. “They’ve also pulled our afternoon ice cream,” one trader lamented.
And making matters worse, there are no businesses left to patronize.
Fortunately for them, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. According to one unnamed Goldman banker, there’s a new Vietnamese place that just opened on Farrington Street. And there’s always the Pret.
One Goldman insider said there are still some options nearby. Eat Viet has recently reopened on Farrington Street (three minutes from Plumtree Court). Leon is open. And there’s always the Pret. Still, “Fleet Street is still very, very quiet,” he said. “Something needs to be done there, as it’s kinda sad given its illustrious history.”
Junior bankers may still be getting shafted when it comes to perks and pay (especially when compared to other bulge bracket peers), but hey – their peers don’t work at Goldman. And the administration at least threw them one bone: As part of its pandemic response, Goldman opened its rooftop garden at its European headquarters in Farringdon to all staff for eating al fresco. That privilege will be let intact – for now at least.
Wed, 10/06/2021 – 05:45
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