A handful of Goldman Sachs’ (GS) millennial analysts had the opportunity to pitch CEO Lloyd Blankfein and the partnership committee.
This opportunity took place during the firm’s third-annual Analyst Impact Fund, a contest where analysts from around the world compete for the chance to win up to $150,000 for non-profits in their communities.
The fund is part of Goldman Sachs Gives, which is a donor-advised fund where partners at the firm recommend grants for non-profits. Since its inception in 2010, the fund has given more than $1.3 billion in grants to more than 6,000 organizations. The firm recently opened up what’s historically been an outlet for the most senior leaders to analysts who’ve been with the firm for at least one year.
“I marvel at just how articulate these kids are, how their presentation skills are,” Blankfein said. “[They’re] so impressive that I’m just thinking, ‘my god, could I ever have done this at any point in my life?”
While the pitches are all impressive, Goldman is diligent in how it allocates the funds.
“We’d like every dollar to have an impact of $10, not every dollar to have any impact of $0.10,” Blankfein said. “So we’re kind of ruthless in requiring things that are proven that will work. What we think that we’ll get a lot of leverage for our investment. Just like in our core commercial activities, we want to see the same thing out of our philanthropic activities.”
This year’s field began with 66 teams of analysts, with a range of charities, from technology that would improve medical devices for infants suffering from respiratory distress to teaching software development skills to survivors of human trafficking.
This year’s first-prize was awarded to a London-based team who pitched on behalf of Bondh-E-Shams, a non-profit that enables access to safe water via solar energy.
Below are the results:
1st Place: Bondh-E-Shams (London)
2nd Place: New Story (NYC)
3rd Place: AnnieCannons (DAL/SF)
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.