Resignations at Goldman Sachs amidst complaints about politics and pay

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Something's up in Goldman Sachs' EMEA equity derivatives business. People keep leaving.

In the past week, exits are understood to include: Alexander Jansen, the head of Nordic and Netherlands equity and structured derivatives; Gauthier Amiot, an executive director trading the exotic stocks book; and Jean Paul Gorda, an executive director in equity derivatives sales at Goldman in Paris.

The latest disappearances follow the resignations of two executive directors from Goldman's EMEA equity derivatives team in May. The departures come as both Goldman Sachs and rival banks staff-up their equity derivatives businesses after a strong first quarter. Gorda and Amiot's intentions are unclear, but Jansen is thought to be joining BNP Paribas in several months after a period of gardening leave.

Goldman didn't respond to a request to comment for this article, but headhunters and insiders said the exits are driven by combined disgruntlement about politics and pay.

The former are seemingly the result of new hires. Under managing director Radovan Radman, Goldman hired seven people into its equity derivatives business last year, including - in July 2017 - Tom Groothaert from Credit Suisse.  Groothaert was one of those promoted to managing director at Goldman in last year's bumper round of promotions, a move that seemingly upset existing executive directors who felt overlooked. Other new hires such as Ivan Levchenko from BNP Paribas, Guillaume Paulhac from Roland Berger, Leaf Wade from UBS and Stanislav Mindin, also from Credit Suisse, have allegedly reinforced the notion that existing staff are being supplanted, although it could equally be argued that Goldman is simply building its team.

There are also complaints that departing staff were paid poorly after all the new hires. "There was nothing left for us, but the partners seemed to pay themselves," said one.

Goldman Sachs is not the only bank losing and hiring equity derivatives professionals. As we reported last week, two of Deutsche Bank's most senior equity derivatives MDs in London have quit for Morgan Stanley.

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