Rishi Sunak does not put Goldman Sachs on his CV
There's a quip made about ex-Goldman Sachs people that goes something along the lines of, "How can you tell someone used to work for Goldman Sachs? - They'll let you know themselves within five minutes of meeting them."
Rishi Sunak, the new British prime minister may be just as ebullient about his former employer in person. But when it comes to his CV, Sunak is strangely shtum.
Despite working for Goldman Sachs between 2001 and 2004, Sunak doesn't allude to his Goldman analyst years on his LinkedIn profile. Nor does he mention his subsequent career working for hedge fund TCI fund (The Children’s Investment Fund) or for Theleme Partners, an equity investment firm which he apparently founded himself. All that matters in Rishi's history is his time in parliament and as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
This might be because public service obliterates all else, or because his time at Goldman was a traumatic one. Sunak joined the class of 2001, which means he would have arrived shortly before September 11th. In 2001, Goldman's profits fell 25% as a result of the terrorist attack and in the following 12 months, the firm cut more than 2,800 jobs, 12% of its employees at that time. Even in late 2002, Goldman was considering cutting another 400 people and there were forecasts that up to 20% of its bankers could be cut.
For Rishi, who was reportedly very nice and very hard-working, the turbulence at Goldman may have been a spur to leave banking. In 2004 he went to Stanford Business School in California to study an MBA, but rather than staying in the US and working in tech, came back to London to work for TCI.
Aspersions have been cast upon what exactly Sunak did at TCI, where he only had C4 partner authorisation according to his FCA registration. Most other colleagues had CF30 customer facing registrations or CF26 trading registrations. The implication is that Sunak was more of a schmoozer or operations guy than a portfolio manager at the fund.
Even if Sunak himself wants to play down his history in finance, it's unlikely to go unforgotten by the British electorate, for whom his former career in banking and his immense wealth by marriage are likely to be sources of growing contention in an era of fiscal restraint.
Sunak could easily foster a new era of 'banker bashing' in the UK as the British public come to associate him with finance and with renewed austerity. For Goldman Sachs, it might therefore be a good thing that he hasn't fully completed his LinkedIn profile. But it could just be that he hasn't got around to it: the profile doesn't say that he's PM yet, either.
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