It’s not just Morgan Stanley. Goldman Sachs has also launched a program to hire investment bankers who don’t have prior experience.
Known as the “Bridge to Banking” scheme, it was launched late last month and applications are open until April 17. The start date is mid-June. At the moment, the program is only running in New York. Candidates will enter as associates.
Goldman says the program is open to a “diverse set of experienced professionals” who will join its investment banking team and “advise our clients on some of the world’s most complex and significant financial transactions.”
Candidates may have up to five years of work experience after graduation, but this experience may be unrelated to banking. In fact, Goldman positively encourages non-bankers to apply and says he wants professionals in “various industries to explore this opportunity.”
This is the first time Goldman Sachs has launched an initiative to hire and train non-recent graduates for its investment banking jobs. Morgan Stanley, however, is already doing something similar. After launching its “Experienced Professionals Scheme” for hiring black and female traders with no experience in London last year, Morgan Stanley launched a similar scheme for investment bankers in February 2022. Candidates for the MS program must have three years of postgraduate experience, regardless of whether it is in banking or not. When hiring traders for the program, Morgan Stanley said it seeks recruits in areas including government engineering, law, energy, defense, technology and healthcare.
The new trend of recruiting experienced people from other sectors comes as most banks strive to hire women and ethnic minorities. Goldman Sachs, for example, wants women to make up 40% of its vice presidents (VPs) globally, even though women made up just 32% of its VPs in December 2021. By 2025, it also wants 7% of its VP population in the UK and US are black, although only 4% of VPs in both countries were black at the end of December 2021. The hiring of non-banking talent at the outdoor is one way to achieve this.
If it takes off, the new program could help reduce Goldman’s reliance on MBA students, who have previously been the primary avenue for hiring outside associate talent. Banks’ seasoned hiring programs can be relatively easy to get into: Morgan Stanley had 800 applicants for its first merchant program in the US and hired 70, for example, an 11:1 apply-to-pass ratio. By comparison, standard Goldman Sachs internships have 66 applicants competing for each spot.
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