- Walmart has reportedly poached two Goldman Sachs bankers to help it run its new fintech venture.
- The retailer announced a partnership with Ribbit Capital to offer financial products in January.
- Walmart’s latest move represents a commitment to forging a path in the financial world.
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As Walmart looks to launch a fintech startup, the retailer is turning to Wall Street veterans to help it move into the banking world.
Walmart Inc. has picked up two senior bankers from Goldman Sachs to help lead the retailer’s new fintech startup arm, Bloomberg reported on Sunday. Omer Ismail, the head of Goldman’s consumer bank, and David Stark, one of his top lieutenants, will leave the bank to help bolster Walmart’s venture into financial services with investment firm Ribbit Capital, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. The departure of Ismail, who runs Marcus, was a “surprise,” the sources told Bloomberg.
Walmart announced earlier this year that it was partnering with Ribbit Capital, the firm backing fintech startups such as Robinhood, Affirm, and Credit Karma, to offer financial products for customers and employees. The startup, which has yet to be publicly named, will be mostly owned by Walmart and will include several Walmart executives on its board.
Customers have “made it clear they want more from us in the financial services arena,” president and CEO of Walmart US John Furner said previously in a statement. Walmart’s current financial service offerings include the Walmart CapitalOne credit card, the prepaid Walmart MoneyCard, and the ability for people to cash checks in stores.
“Walmart’s newly-announced fintech joint venture with Ribbit Capital will provide myriad growth opportunities, with the leveraging of its massive customer base at the center of the initiative,” Moody’s Vice-President and Senior Credit Officer Charlie O’Shea, said in a note to investors, Insider reported previously. “Walmart has been slowly and tactically expanding its financial service offerings to its customers, and measured expansion of these capabilities makes sense as it will deepen these all-important customer relationships.”
Walmart’s latest move represents a commitment to forging a path in the financial world. The retailer could also possibly have an advantage by eventually using its thousands of stores to market its new product and display advertisements to a large array of customers.
In February, Walmart reported $152.1 billion in total sales, up over 7.3% year over year.
Walmart and Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.