Goldman Sachs De-Partnering Is Like Facebook Defriending, but Way More Hurty


Wanna know what’s awesome? The moment Goldman Sachs names you a “partner,” a title 100 people will receive this fall. (About 375 of the bank’s 35,000 employees are partners.) By bestowing partnership on an employee, the company is essentially whispering in that person’s ear, “You will get a multimillion dollar bonus year after year,” according to the New York Times. Not bad, right? Until…this happens:

Being “de-partnered,” an uncomfortable process known to many who work at the huge financial company but to few outside its walls, according to the Times. It hurts, and it translates to NO MORE BONUS. And: YOU SUCK.

As many as 60 Goldman executives could be stripped of their title this year, making way for smarter, more driven, soon-to-be-much-richer folks rising in the ranks. “I have friends who have been de-partnered who are still there, and most people inside think they are still partners,” a former Goldman executive told the Times. “It is something you just don’t talk about.”


“Being partner at Goldman is the pinnacle of Wall Street; if you make it, you are considered set for life,” Michael Driscoll, a senior managing director at Bear Stearns before that firm collapsed in 2008, told the Times. “To have it taken away would just be devastating to an individual. There is just no other word for it.”

This “devastating” closed-door process sounds oddly similar to another devastating closed-door process. Except with less money attached. “Emotionally, it can be the same as being dumped because it’s one-sided,” Irene Levine, a psychiatry professor at the N.Y.U. School of Medicine told the Times. “While the defriender may have been grappling with the decision to defriend for some time, it comes out of the blue for the person defriended.” Oh, Facebook.

This is all just more evidence that human development may actually end in grade school. Thankfully, you can’t be defriended from Goldman’s Facebook page, but then, you can’t shun it in the cafeteria, either.