Big bank cuts posh perk for low-level advisors

A financial services behemoth has decided to limit a perk just to employees with $1m in assets, sparking fears across the sector..

Big bank cuts posh perk for low-level advisors

Goldman Sachs has eliminated a perk where all employees were able to hold accounts at the firm’s prestigious private bank. Unless you have at least $1million in assets, employees have been told, your account will be migrated to Fidelity.

New York magazine’s Daily Intelligencer, citing unnamed sources, said that Goldman has been forcing employees with less money to move their holdings to Fidelity Investments, into brokerage accounts similar to the ones available to the general public.

For years, a perk of working at Goldman Sachs was that all employees could keep their personal stock portfolio and other financial holdings inside the firm’s asset-management division, regardless of the salary or the level of assets held.

Citing sources, the magazine said Goldman began the transition earlier this year, by requiring employees with less than $1 million in assets at the firm to pay a $3,000 annual fee to keep their Goldman accounts open. It later sent a letter informing account holders under the limit that they would be forced to move their accounts by the end of 2014.

Currently, the magazine said, callers to the firm's 800 number for employee financial services are greeted with a message: "Please press 1 if your call is regarding the Fidelity migration."

Goldman spokesman David Wells was cited as saying that the new policy applied to current employees as well as former ones, and that it “ensures these current and former employees receive the right tools and services.”

Banking with Goldman confers certain advantages, such as access to research by Goldman’s analysts, trade execution services, and a dedicated customer service line. For former employees, much of the appeal of remaining with the firm’s private wealth managers is familiarity, and a certain snob appeal, the magazine noted.