Goldman Sachs is going through a big transformation under CEO David Solomon

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.

Goldman Sachs is going through some massive changes under CEO David Solomon.

The Wall Street bank has taken big steps involving transparency and inclusion to change up its culture. After its first-ever investor day in early 2020, the firm is looking to execute on targets including multi-year cost-cutting plans. And it’s making big pushes into wealth management and consumer banking.

Solomon, who took the reins as CEO in 2018, has also looked to reduce the number of partners overall at the firm to make the status more elite and exclusive. In 2018, there were 484 partners. But as of the newest partner additions, Goldman’s total partners amounted to fewer than 440.

Goldman Sachs reported first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, April 14, and turned in blowout performance on trading and dealmaking. Stephen Scherr, Goldman Sachs’ chief financial officer, said on the earnings call that the firm is increasingly leaning into cloud technology.

“Our new builds are largely, perhaps not exclusively, but largely cloud-based,” he said.

“We’re riveted and focused on doing that so as to eliminate legacy technology,” Scherr added.

Here’s a rundown of the latest news at Goldman, including the latest hires and exits, deep dives on its Marcus consumer bank, and how Goldman investment banking analysts are reacting after a year of rapid-fire deal while WFH.

The lastest news on Goldman’s Marcus

Marcus Goldman Sachs
Marcus offers savings and credit products online and through its app.

Goldman Sachs has built its consumer-banking arm into a $1 billion business over the past five years.

But it’s seen a wave of recent departures including the exits of top Marcus bosses Omer Ismail and David Stark. And JPMorgan has poached the head of product at Marcus to join the bank’s digital and product leadership team for consumer and community banking.

Insiders explained how Goldman Sachs’ hard-charging culture had contributed to exhaustion and high turnover within Marcus, and a Goldman spokesperson told us that the firm is eyeing beefing up the ranks by hiring some 200 to 300 new engineers.

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Who are the top leaders at Goldman?

Goldman Sachs org chart 2x1

Goldman in September shuffled its setup, creating a new standalone consumer division that includes its Marcus lending unit as well as its wealth-management and private-banking businesses.

Strategy chief Stephanie Cohen and Tucker York, the head of the private-wealth business, were tapped to colead the new consumer and wealth management division and the changes went into effect on Jan. 1.

The new setup matches the way Goldman reports financial results, a change the firm made in 2019 to better align with how Solomon wanted investors to think about the firm. Goldman now has four divisions: consumer and wealth management, asset management, investment banking, and global markets.

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Goldman’s junior bankers are feeling the heat

wall street burnout young talent junior analyst 2x1

A grueling year of increased demands while working from home has some Goldman Sachs junior talent reaching a breaking point.

In March, a presentation created by 13 analysts within the firm’s investment bank grabbed headlines. Meanwhile, the bank is prepping its latest cohort of young bankers for a return to in-person work.

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Goldman’s dealmakers

When Goldman announced its latest class of partners, one group was particularly well-represented on the list. Seven of the 19 investment bankers elevated to partner status came from the bank’s powerhouse technology, media, and telecommunications group.

The group has also seen some shakeups in recent months. Goldman Sachs veteran Gregg Lemkau, co-head of the firm’s investment banking division since 2017 and a member of Goldman’s management committee, left at the end of 2020. Instacart has tapped Nick Giovanni, Goldman Sachs’ head of the global technology, media and telecom group, to be its CFO. And in September, Goldman Sachs named new leadership in its M&A group.

Goldman has also been riding the SPAC boom, which went into overdrive in the first quarter. It ranked No. 2 among banks in terms of SPAC IPOs year-to-date by mid-March.

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