Goldman Fires About 20 Staffers for Cheating on Tests

Photo: lucas jackson/Reuters

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS 0.12 % is firing about 20 junior employees for cheating on internal training tests, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Wall Street firm found analysts in New York, London and other offices had violated internal rules when they took the exams, which are used to evaluate employees’ understanding of key policies and industry concepts, the person said. The dismissals occurred within Goldman’s securities division.

“This conduct was not just a clear violation of the rules, but completely inconsistent with the values we foster at the firm,” a Goldman spokesman said.

Bloomberg News reported on the dismissals earlier on Friday.

On Wall Street, analysts are entry-level jobs for employees often just out of college. They typically spend two to three years in the role before advancing or leaving the firm.

First- and second-year analysts earn an annual salary of about $ 85,000, excluding bonus. The firm hires more than 2,000 new analysts every year.

Goldman employs thousands of analysts world-wide.

Goldman’s online modules test everything from industry and regulatory know-how to the firm’s anti-money-laundering and gift-giving policies, and often take an hour or so to complete, one person familiar with the matter said.

Several current and former Goldman employees described the tests as annoying yet unavoidable chores left to the last minute. Nevertheless, analysts who failed to meet the deadlines or score well enough could risk drawing the ire of their supervisors, people familiar with the matter said. Sharing answers, those people said, became a routine way to save time during an often hectic workweek.

It is unclear how the dismissed analysts’ broke the rules. One person familiar with the matter said Goldman had been explicit in telling employees what wasn’t permissible.

Write to Justin Baer at [email protected] Markets

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