Goldman using technology to cut costs, manage capital

NEW YORK, Tue Nov 13, 2012 – Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is deploying more information technology to handle trades and manage its capital as the firm cuts its payroll, CEO Lloyd Blankfein said on Tuesday.

The firm is hiring additional technology workers while cutting its total payroll, Blankfein said at an investor conference. Total staff at the investment bank was down 8 percent at the end of September to 32,600 people from 35,500 in June 2011, he said.

Goldman has deployed technology systems to show the impact of buying, selling or holding individual securities on regulatory measurements of bank assets. The information is being used to improve Goldman’s capital strength as measured under new standards being imposed by regulators, he said.

At the same time, trading currently done with “high touch” by individuals will increasingly be done with computers. Roughly 65 percent of the firm’s equity trading for clients now goes through what Goldman calls “low touch” electronic channels, he said.