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### Intense Battle on Wall Street for AI Talent: Banks Poaching Each Other’s Employees, with Goldman Sachs at a Disadvantage

Workers with data, analytics, or AI experience are a hot commodity, taking home a median $900,000 l…

For months, financial institutions have been competing to attract top AI talent to their teams, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. finding itself at a disadvantage in this battle.

According to data compiled by the consultancy Evident, Goldman Sachs experienced a net loss of 60 employees to competitors like Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. in the 12-month period ending in September, the highest among its major rivals. Bank of America followed with a decrease of 55 staff members, while Wells Fargo & Co. saw the largest net increase with 130 new hires.

Alexandra Mousavizadeh, CEO of Evident, emphasized the importance of not only recruiting but also nurturing and retaining talent, stating, “They have a lot of other places to go.”

Although the number of departures represents a small fraction of the overall AI workforce in banks, it sheds light on the intense competition for AI expertise. Professionals specializing in data, analytics, and artificial intelligence roles are among the highest-paid individuals in any organization.

Median compensation for employees in these roles in the U.S. reached \(901,000 last year, including annualized equity grants, while their counterparts in Europe earned \)676,000, as reported by Heidrick & Struggles, a recruiting firm.

Evident’s analysis focused on positions in AI development, model risk, data engineering, and software development, excluding hires from universities and consulting firms.

Despite losing 106 employees to competitors, Goldman Sachs, with a global workforce of nearly 46,000, has been actively recruiting and investing to attract top AI talent. Earlier this year, Bing Xiang joined the bank from Amazon.com Inc. as a managing director and head of AI research within the engineering division.

Representatives of Goldman Sachs and other banks mentioned in the report declined to provide comments.

Embracing AI Innovation

Major banks worldwide have started exploring artificial intelligence more extensively in recent months, aiming to enhance productivity and reduce costs. Citigroup, for example, plans to empower its 40,000 coders to experiment with various AI technologies by the end of the first quarter.

While Citigroup added 189 AI-focused employees recently, it also lost 196 to competitors during the same period, according to Evident’s data.

Mike Mayo, an analyst at Wells Fargo, highlighted the significance of having an AI strategy in place for banks, stating, “AI is here to stay.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has numerous open positions related to artificial intelligence, with CEO Jamie Dimon expressing his belief that AI could lead to a shorter workweek of just 3.5 days. The firm retained its top ranking in the Evident AI Index this year, which assesses banks based on their AI maturity.

Although JPMorgan lost 224 AI-focused employees recently, it also recruited 325 new talents, resulting in one of the largest net increases in AI expertise among its peers, according to Evident’s findings.

Teresa Heitsenrether, JPMorgan’s chief data and analytics officer, expressed pride in the recognition of their AI capabilities and reaffirmed the firm’s commitment to further investing in these areas.

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Last modified: February 18, 2024
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