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Bill Cohan

Goldman Sachs Leans In, Merrill Lynch Leans Out

Goldman’s hiring of Alice Murphy is remarkable because she is one of the rare people whose former employer, Merrill Lynch, has denied her paid “gardening leave” before departing. 

Back in the real world of Wall Street -- and away from the absurdity of the @GSElevator hoax -- we have the bizarre story of Alice "A.J." Murphy, one of the most highly respected women in finance. Last week, the actual Goldman Sachs Group Inc. hired Murphy away from Merrill Lynch, the investment-banking division of Bank of America Corp., as a partner managing director and the global head of leveraged finance origination. Murphy had been co-head of leveraged finance at Merrill Lynch.

It is exceedingly rare for Goldman to hire anyone, let alone awoman (and the mother of four children under 8), laterally into its coveted partnership ranks. Goldman has accepted about 400 senior bankers, traders and executives as partners; they can easily earn more than $10 million in annual compensation. Goldman prefers to promote these partners up through the ranks.