Investment banking has long been thought to be an industry where automation would have a tough time replacing human workers.
But Goldman Sachs has found a way to streamline IPOs — one of its most lucrative businesses — by automating some of the most repetitive and labour-intensive tasks.
According to a new report by Bloomberg, roughly half of the steps that Goldman Sachs investments bankers go through during an IPO have been automated, eliminating thousands of human work hours.
The program, called Deal Link, is used to deal with legal and compliance reviews, fill in forms and generate reports. It was started by George Lee, the chief information officer for Goldman Sachs’s investment-banking division.
Here’s how the project got started, as reported by Dakin Campbell at Bloomberg:
“In the beginning, Lee and his team took aim at the most obvious steps for disruption: the routine phone calls, emails and tasks that young bankers plow through at the beginning of every IPO. That included phoning the compliance department to look for potential conflicts, contacting legal to assign lawyers and compiling an organizational book for meetings.
Now that’s all done with the click of a mouse in the new application, which features a step-by-step guide replacing ad hoc training materials and word-of-mouth advice.”
Even with all the tasks that the program has eliminated for human bankers, the firm’s hiring has been unaffected. Instead, the program has freed up bankers to talk more with clients and reduced the workload for junior bankers so they can work on more satisfying tasks.
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