Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) has decided to name managing directors every two years instead of annually as it has done in the past, according to a memo viewed by Reuters.

The less frequent formula will kick in after the 2013 class of managing directors are announced, the memo showed.

The highly popular title has been awarded on an annual basis since 1996 when it was created.

A Goldman spokesman confirmed the contents of the memo.

"A biennial process will allow us to invest more in the managing director selection process so that it will continue to be a disciplined and rigorous exercise," the memo by Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn showed.

The shift will help "to ensure that the managing director title remains as aspirational as it should be for our top performers," they said in the memo dated March 7.

The memo did not say if the change would affect the number of managing directors being chosen.

(Writing by Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)