Meet 4 Goldman Sachs analysts who pitched top execs to win a $250,000 grant in the bank’s annual charity competition

Goldman winning analysts Pat Scanlan

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At a Manhattan restaurant in the summer of 2018, four Goldman Sachs summer analysts gathered for a routine Friday night dinner. At the table were Zander Cowan, Arthur Jacobs, Aditi Sundaram, and Claire Thompson, who harbored big dreams of a career at one of Wall Street’s most prestigious firms.

At the dinner, the four interns agreed that, if they were invited back to join Goldman as full-time analysts, they would partake in the firm’s annual Analyst Impact Fund competition, a showdown where young employees have the chance to compete for grants reaching up to $250,000 to advance social causes and the missions of nonprofit organizations.

Two years after their intern dinner in New York City, the four former interns — all of whom have since been hired full-time into the firm — joined forces to compete for the Analyst Impact Fund and, last week, they won the top prize at the competition.

“I would say it’s a pretty marquee part of Goldman Sachs culture,” said Cowan, 23, who joined the firm in 2019 and is an analyst in strategic cross-asset solutions. “It’s such a unique opportunity for analysts to find a cause they’re passionate about,” he told Business Insider in an interview.

Julian Salisbury, Goldman’s global head of its merchant banking division and one of the executives who oversees the program, told Business Insider in an interview that, through the Fund, analysts are challenged to bring an “analytical approach” to their pitches, in order to “convince a senior audience that this is going to be a good return on their investment.”

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“The analysts help us seek out and find charities where by giving money, we would see the biggest return or the biggest impact of that money” through the fund, Salisbury added.

The fund is now in its fifth year, and its origin was the idea that Goldman analysts — who are “very passionate and skilled around financial analysis and investments,” Salisbury said — could be deployed to identify philanthropic causes and develop a plan to how to put the firm’s capital to work doing good.

Last week, six teams of analysts virtually faced off to pitch to a panel of elite Goldman Sachs executives about their plans for how to disperse the capital. Three tiers of cash grants were up for grabs for analysts’ respective causes: $250,000 for the winner, followed by $100,000 for the runner-up, and $75,000 for the team that placed in third. The other three teams received $25,000 grants for their causes. The winner was announced by Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon himself.

After their victory at the competition, Cowan, Jacobs, Sundaram, and Thompson told Business Insider what it took to pull off their success.

The winning analyst group competed on behalf of an organization that prevents unused medicines from going to waste

Analysts competed for a variety of causes. Among them, they competed on behalf of organizations that support Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, and vaccination for infants in developing parts of the world like India.

Cowan, Jacobs, Sundaram, and Thompson competed and …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Finance

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