Goldman Sachs' CFO gives us a little more detail on those job cuts

Goldman Sachs has cut its headcount by 5% since the first quarter to about 34,800 people.

On a call following the firm’s second-quarter earnings results, CFO Harvey Schwartz provided a little more detail about those job cuts.

First of all, he said, the process started back in February. He noted that it’s not unusual for the firm to cull the bottom 5% of performers across the board each year, but the exact number can vary by business.

For example the fixed income, currencies, and commodities trading business, which Schwartz said faces a “heavier headwind,” has already cut more than the typical 5% of staff.

He also noted that the job cuts come in “adjacent” divisions like operations and technology.

Schwartz added that the 5% reduction is net of hiring, not a gross number, and that the firm hired about 600 new analysts in June.

“We view this as a very thoughtful exercise,” Schwartz said on the call. “We don’t feel like we’ve sacrificed any optionality; we certainly have not sacrificed any commitment to our clients.”

He said the headcount reductions amount to about $700 million in cost savings on a run-rate basis.

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