A Tiny Group Of Goldman Sachs Employees Are About To Get The Phone Call Of A Lifetime

Lloyd BlankfeinReuters/ Natalie Behring‘Hey, It’s Lloyd. I just want to call and tell you that you’ve been made partner…’

There are a bunch of nervous and anxious folks inside Goldman Sachs offices all around the world right now awaiting an important phone call from chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

On Wednesday morning, Blankfein or the firm’s president Gary Cohn will inform a select few that they have been made a “partnership managing director.”

Being made a partner at Goldman is one of the most highly-coveted titles on Wall Street. Joining this elite group comes with a nice paycheck and a number of perks.

Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a Goldman partner:

  1. It happens every two-years: Partners are selected every two years in an extremely secretive process.
  2. Potential candidates are identified in the summer: The firm doesn’t explicitly tell the candidates. It’s not a surprise, though. We heard that you would have an idea that you’re in the running.
  3. Candidates are vetted through an intense process called “cross-ruffing”: The term “cross-ruffing” comes from the card game bridge. Cross-ruffing is where a candidate is intensely analysed in a series of lengthy conversations with current partners and other Goldman employees on whether or not a candidate deserves to be made partner. A candidate is blind to who is interviewing and who is being interviewed during this process. What’s more is there are no actual interviews with the candidate.
  4. The selection committee looks for folks who’ve made an impact at the firm: When selecting the partner class, the committee looks for excellence defined by your responsibilities. They’re also looking for folks who have built strong franchise businesses, adding value to the firm. They want leaders and people who embody the firm’s business principles and standards. Everyone being vetted is excellent, and during the process it might come down to choosing between excellent and super excellent.
  5. Lloyd Blankfein will personally call you with the great news: Either Lloyd Blankfein or Gary Cohn will give the employee a call to let them know they have made partner. As you can imagine, folks will probably be anxiously waiting by their phones.
  6. The calls start with the Asia offices first: Around 5 a.m. EST, the new partners in Asia start receiving their phone calls from Goldman’s CEO and president. The calls typically go until about 9 a.m.
  7. Those who didn’t make the cut are told beforehand: For many who didn’t make it, Wednesday morning can be a disappointment. They will be told in some form that they didn’t make it, but were close. They will also get feedback so they can work toward making partner in a future cycle.
  8. Current partners are forbidden from congratulating the new partner class right away: The current partners will find out who made the cut in the morning, too. However, they can’t say “congratulations” until the list is released to the entire firm (usually around noon EST). The idea is that they don’t want to accidentally say something before the person has received that very special phone call.
  9. It’s supposed to be an incredible feeling making partner: One former partner told eFinancial News, “Don’t tell my wife this, but being made partner was the greatest moment of my life.”
  10. Being a partner means getting a boost in your base salary: One of the biggest benefits of being a partner at Goldman is the lucrative paycheck. A partner’s base salary changes. The salary doesn’t become official until 2015.
  11. They get a nice chunk of the bonus pool: In addition to the base salary, a portion of the bank’s bonus pool is divvied up amongst the 400-plus Goldman partners.
  12. There are special investment opportunities too: Partners are given access to investment opportunities not available to other employees. For example, they can invest in certain funds.
  13. The number of partners in a class isn’t pre-dictated: The number tends to fall between 1.5 and 1.9% of the full-time Goldman Sachs employee population.
  14. Age doesn’t matter: Age isn’t a parameter. Performance is what’s important. However, the firm would look at the time someone has spent in a role.
  15. Vice presidents can be made partner: While they usually tap managing directors, there have been instances in where a VP has made it.
  16. You can go through the process more than once: If you don’t make partner, it doesn’t mean you won’t have another shot. Timing is everything. You might make it the next cycle or the one after that.

We’ll get to meet the new class tomorrow. Best of luck to everyone in the running!

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