The firm announced yesterday that ten Asian MDs would be made members of the lucrative partnership pool - a group which comprises the firm's "commercial and cultural leaders". The partnership pool gets the top layer of the bonus pool (to be announced in December) and comprises around 1.5% of Goldman's global staff.

Goldman has created 114 new partnership pool places, of which 10 are from Asia. They are:

Theresa McCabe, Paul Russo, Richard Ong, Ian Mukherjee, Barry Mannis, Shirley Fung, Shirley Lin, David M. Weil, Hsueh-Ming Wang and Zi Wang Xu.

The distribution of these partnerships says a lot about how Goldman sees its Asian business.

Shirley Fung, for example, is the investment banker who manages the relationships with Hutchison and MTR; while Wang and Xu run the China business (think PetroChina, China Mobile); and Lin is the co-head of the firm's private investment unit.

The other interesting thing is that McCabe and Russo have just arrived in Asia. They now run the fixed income business. This is surely a sign that Goldman intends to beef up its bond market profile in the coming year. By bringing out partnership-calibre people like McCabe and Russo, the firm is obviously hoping that the Asian bond markets will have a better year in 2001 than it has had so far in 2000 - a year in which there have been few deals.

Meanwhile, Mannis is joint global head of research (based in Hong Kong); Mukherjee runs equity trading; Weil runs operations and Richard Ong is a member of investment banking services.

But what is most interesting overall about the announcement is that it shows that post-IPO Goldman still wants to maintain its old culture. Goldman has always been an aspirational place, and the go-getter mentality was driven by the partnership culture. Some feared that this unique structure would be destroyed by the IPO. But clearly the partnership pool is the firm's clever attempt to keep it alive and well.

How else do you get associates to work 23 and three quarter hours a day?