Milken Institute Global Conference

Computer engineers now make up a quarter of Goldman Sachs' workforce

David Solomon of Goldman Sachs & Co.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Goldman Sachs' David Solomon said the bank now employs thousands of engineers in its effort to stay on the cutting edge of financial technology.

Keeping up in modern finance "requires a lot of investment," said Solomon, president and next in line to be CEO at the firm, from the Milken Global Investment Conference on Monday. Companies such as Goldman need to answer questions like "how to hold on to your legacy businesses but create an environment that's conducive" to innovation, he added.

CEO confidence is relatively high, says Goldman's Solomon

The chief operating officer added that Goldman Sachs has hired about 9,000 engineers to help ensure that the bank keeps up with peers in the age of modern banking. For a company with just over 36,000 employees, the bank's influx of computer engineers now represents approximately 25 percent of its entire workforce.

"Ours is a business of information ... pattern recognition and historical context are important," he explained, saying that it's important to the company's success that it continues to hire about 2,000 people fresh out of school each year.

"Equity trading: 15 to 20 years ago we had 500 people making markets in stocks. Today we have three," he said.

Solomon became sole president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs earlier this month following Harvey Schwartz's decision to retire. Commenting on the bank's line of succession, chief executive Lloyd Blankfein called Solomon the "CEO-in-waiting" earlier this month.