Gold­man cost-cut­ting bid hits phone perks

New Straits Times - - Business -

Gold­man Sachs Group Inc’s deal­mak­ers en­dured job cuts and a tough bonus sea­son. Then the penny-pinch­ers turned to their beloved phones.

In a push to cut costs and shift em­ploy­ees from Black­Berry de­vices to per­sonal mo­bile phones, the firm is im­pos­ing a new pol­icy around the world for re­im­burs­ing data and call­ing ex­penses, ac­cord­ing to an in­ter­nal memo seen by Bloomberg.

Gold­man Sachs will now chip in US$10 (RM44.52) for data charges on phone bills in the United States, £10 (RM54.55) in the United King­dom, €10 (RM46.83) in Ger­many and HK$100 (RM57.34) in Hong Kong, ac­cord­ing to the memo. It also spells out con­di­tions for re­im­burs­ing costs for phone calls. The changes be­gan on Wed­nes­day.

The new plan is rankling some deal­mak­ers, who spend much of their day on the phone call­ing and email­ing clients to ad­vise on trans­ac­tions or drum up new busi­ness. In the past, Gold­man Sachs gen­er­ally is­sued Black­Berry work phones and cov­ered full bills.

The firm chose the US$10 fig­ure be­cause that’s typ­i­cally what it costs for a gi­ga­byte of data, and an ap­pli­ca­tion used by em­ploy­ees for work emails didn’t usu­ally con­sume more than that, ac­cord­ing to per­son fa­mil­iar with the pol­icy.

Belt-tight­en­ing ini­tia­tives have helped Gold­man shave US$900 mil­lion from an­nual ex­penses.

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