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Morgan Stanley hires Goldman Sachs' 'KGB' chief

Goldman Sachs’ former global head of people science, Julie Zide-Mandel, has joined Morgan Stanley as a managing director and head of the bank’s people analytics division.

People analytics is the practice of live-tracking and machine analysing employee performances, although the language is generally couched in corporate positivity – McKinsey, the consultancy, refers to it on their website as helping “managers and senior talent leaders unlock the power of data—increasing rigor, reducing bias, and improving performance.”

Zide-Mandel spent eight years with Goldman, which she joined as an associate, in a variety of people-watching roles, including leading the firm’s “Employee Listening” efforts. She worked at Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant, for two years before that.

Zide-Mandel’s two years as global head of people science were foundational – she was the first in Goldman’s history. Before that, she was the global head of “organizational recruitment”, and was part of the team that expanded pre-hire assessments – HireVue and similar tools.

Goldman regularly culls between 1% and 5% of its staff which it identifies as underperformers. The appraisal system was historically used in this manner – although the firm revamps it regularly, most recently in 2020.

Other banks, including JPMorgan, have historically used “algorithms” to monitor employee behaviour – including attendance at compliance classes, breach market risk limits, or violating personal trading rules. These algorithms have been used to predict things like resignations.

Whether Morgan Stanley views people analytics as a tool for trimming staff and predicting resignations isn't clear. But the bank bringing in a key Goldman people spy is a strong indicator to staff that it might have to start looking up terms like “Zersetzung” in the dictionary.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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