March 5, 2019 / 5:58 PM / 3 months ago

Suits and ties now optional, Goldman Sachs hedges dress code

NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc said on Tuesday that it is relaxing the dress code for all its employees, a move once considered unimaginable for the Wall Street firm's leagues of monk-shoed partners and bankers in bespoke suits.

The new "firm wide flexible dress code" was announced in an internal memo, which said the shift was due to "the changing nature of workplaces generally in favor of a more casual environment."

The memo sent to the bank's some 36,000 employees was penned by Chief Executive Officer David Solomon, a former investment banker who took the role in October, along with Chief Financial Officer Stephen Scherr and Chief Operating Officer John Waldron.

Historically known as a white-shoe investment bank, Goldman Sachs traditionally required formal business attire. But since 2017, the bank began relaxing its dress code for employees in the technology division and other new digital businesses. This created a divide in the workforce as clear as denim versus pinstripes.

Like other Wall Street banks, Goldman has been competing to secure the best employees. Large technology firms and hedge funds often have more relaxed offices and perks.

Tuesday's announcement was also meant to bring the bank's traditional policies up to date for its younger workforce. More than 75 percent of Goldman employees are members of the Millennial or Gen Z generations--people born after 1981.

The memo did not specify which clothes are or are not appropriate.

"All of us know what is and is not appropriate for the workplace," the memo reads.

The memo also reminded employees to dress "in a manner that is consistent" with clients' expectations. "Of course, casual dress is not appropriate every day and for every interaction and we trust you will consistently exercise good judgment in this regard."

Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Anna Irrera and David Gregorio

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