Goldman Sachs Targets 1,000 Layoffs

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Goldman Sachs ( GS) might layoff as many as 1,000 employees globally as it copes with a more difficult operating environment, management said during the analyst conference call on Tuesday.

The investment bank offered little details on the nature of the layoffs, saying it would be broad-based, but that it was unlikely to be significant in its growth markets where it continues to invest.

Goldman is targeting $1.2 billion in compensation and non-compensation expenses this year, the effects of which are likely to be fully realized only next year, CFO David Viniar said.

Management is focused on the dollar savings rather than the "number of heads", meaning that layoffs could be both at the senior and the junior level, Viniar added.

Compensation expenses declined 16% year on year in the second quarter to $3.20 billion or 44% of total revenues.

Analysts have been expecting investment banks to reduce headcount in order to drive profitability as revenues remain under pressure. Goldman already said in a filing recently that it would cut 230 employees in the New York region this year.

There has also been talk of increasing layoffs as investment banks have little room to tweak salary packages. Some investment banks increased the fixed portion of compensation after the U.K. instituted a tax on bonuses.

Goldman might still have some flexibility in this regard, with salaries as a percentage of compensation still relatively unchanged. "Our ability to manage compensation expenses is still quite high," Viniar told analysts during a conference call.

--Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

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