Sources inside the bank say that headhunters are trying to prise staff away by playing on fears that they have lost out in the share allocation due to be announced within the next few weeks.
"They have been telephoning staff and saying they've heard that they haven't done as well as so-and-so; would they like to move?" said one bank insider.
Staff have been deliberately kept in the dark about the float. The precise mechanics have been kept tightly within a very small coterie immediately surrounding John Corzine, the co-chairman.
In the absence of firm information, insiders say internal speculation about who will be the winners and losers has been rife.
In an attempt to overcome opposition to the float, Corzine agreed to ensure that the shares were distributed as widely as possible and not restricted to partners.
He has stressed that ordinary employees would also be entitled to some of the shares.
However, he has failed so far to explain on what the criteria for the allocation would be.
Goldmans has come under fire for recent weeks for using the promise of big windfalls from the share offer to lure major hitters from other firms.
The only major scalp Goldmans has claimed is Michael Carr, co-head of mergers and acuqisitions at Salomon Smith Barney.
An attempt to lure Jack Grubman - Salomon's top-rated telecoms analyst - failed after his existing employer agreed to match Goldmans $25m offer.
Salomon's head Deryck Maughan phoned Mr Corzine last week to complain about Goldman's attempts to poach key staff.Reuse content