Thousands Likely To Go, As Goldman Forces Staff To Work Longer

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The Financial Times reports that staff at Goldman Sachs will have to work 5 years longer (to 60) in order to receive full retirement benefits, as the firm is amending the terms of a scheme which allowed employees to quit at 55 and take all their restricted stock with them when they left.

According to the newspaper, Goldman will 'scrap its policy of allowing employees whose combination of age and years of service exceeds 55 to collect all of their restricted stock upon departure'. The policy is to be replaced by a new 'rule of 60'. The policy change, which is said to be unrelated to the firm's current 10% headcount cull (3,200 staff are being culled), is thought likely to encourage an additional 3,000 staff to voluntarily leave the firm before the end of the year, when the rule change comes in.

In the meantime, Goldman continues to wield the job axe, with up to 220 staff thought to have lost their jobs in London this week, and further lay-offs in New York. Senior management are also said to be been let go over at Citi this week, some at Managing Director level.

And Bank of America has confirmed that up to 35,000 jobs will go in the next 3 years following its merger with rival Merrill Lynch (and because of the weakness in the global economy). Job cuts in investment banking and global markets are likely to be done and dusted by the end of the March 2009, however. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the two firms began laying-off staff in their US equity-research units this week as the integration process starts. And Bloomberg quotes sources who advise that Jason Brand, the president of Merrill's Asia-Pac businesses, is to leave the firm.

Staying in Asia, Financial News reports that hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management has slashed 10 jobs over there.

Finally, the Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor reveals that there was a 59% drop in new financial services job vacancies in London last month (compared to November 2007), with a 30% fall in November compared to October. Candidate flow was also 17% down on November last year, and 18% off on last month.

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