Goldman Sachs just made another big change in its trading business


Goldman Sachs’ cohead of global fixed income, currency, and commodities sales, Dalinc Ariburnu, is leaving the bank, according to an internal memo seen by Business Insider.

Ariburnu, 46, “decided to retire from the firm,” according to the note, which was signed by the securities division coheads Isabelle Ealet, Pablo Salame, and Ashok Varadhan.

Jim Esposito, who was recently promoted to chief strategy officer of the securities division, will replace Ariburnu while also continuing in his current role, according to a separate memo.

The other cohead is Tom Cornacchia.

“We continue to focus on critical initiatives that will grow our FICC business, including deepening and growing our client relationships and the application of technology to help serve our clients better,” that note read.

Reuters was first to report that Ariburnu was leaving.

Goldman Sachs reported catastrophic first-quarter earnings, with profit down 60%. FICC revenues were down 47% from the last year. The firm is also reportedly laying off more people than usual from the fixed-income division.

CFO Harvey Schwartz in January expressed optimism about the FICC business, saying, “Everyone has to acknowledge that financial services is a cyclical industry … There certainly is an upside case.”

Since then, the firm has promoted Esposito to
focus on growing the firm’s client franchise. It is also focusing on enhancing cross-selling among clients.

“The ability to deliver the full range of products and services we offer to our clients is more valuable today than any other time that we can recall,” the securities coheads said in a memo at the time of Esposito’s promotion.

“Our mission is to adjust our practices and aspirations in a way that takes into account structural developments and our strong market position.”

Fixed income businesses have been troubling across Wall Street, as regulatory changes constrain profits in that division. Morgan Stanley cut 25% of staff in its staff in that division last year.

‘Friction’ and ‘awkwardness’

In March, Cornacchia, described a cultural shift wrought with “friction” and “awkwardness” inside the global FICC business.

Essentially, Cornacchia said, while the equity sales and trading model has transformed over the past decade from a pure service-providing business to more of an “agency,” the same thing is starting to happen to FICC — but not as smoothly.

“There’s a lot of denial that exists up front, and that denial is something that we’re trying to push through our system internally,” Cornacchia said at a housing finance conference.

“We’re not stepping out of any business — we’re going to reshape every one of our businesses to adapt to the changing environment,” he said.

Ariburnu joined the firm in 2009 from Deutsche Bank as a partner and head of European FICC Sales. He took on his current role in 2013.

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