Goldman Sachs mints millionaires, but some of the bank’s employees achieve career highs only once they have left Wall Street.
Just ask Spencer Rascoff: the former Goldman banker spent years working at various startups before joining Zillow’s founding team.
He ascended through the ranks, beginning in 2005, before becoming CEO of the home-sales site.
Business Insider tracked down 29 other men and women who worked at Goldman Sachs and later went on to launch new companies, or took on leadership roles with hot startups, after leaving the big bank.
Not all of them were at the bank for very long. Christopher Altchek was at the bank just a year before he launched news website Mic.com. On the other hand, Patrick de Nonneville spent more than seven years with the bank, working as co-head of European interest rates products, until the allure of startup life lured him away this year.
The businesses range from bond-trading platforms to speech therapy apps. There’s one bakery in the mix. Some have been sold to tech giants like Twitter, while others are still in their early stages.
If you are, or know of, bankers who’ve started up their own firms after checking out of Goldman Sachs, please let us know at: [email protected]
Spencer Rascoff had a lengthy career across virtually all segments of finance: as a banker and a private equity pro.
He joined real estate website Zillow at its founding in 2005, and served in various roles, becoming CEO in 2010. Earlier this year Zillow completed the integration of Trulia, its biggest competitor that it acquired for $US2.5 billion.
After more than a decade in finance, one Goldman Sachs alumnus decided working and raising a family wasn't a zero-sum game. Kristen Koh Goldman would go on to launch BackOps, a startup that puts stay-at-home mums and others in touch with companies that need to outsource back-office functions such as bookkeeping, payroll and talent management.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Koh said her company is now profitable.
Nick Sedlet spent more than three years working at Goldman Sachs as a quantitative analyst before he launched HireArt in 2011.
The job applicant screening service would go on to secure seed funding from YCombinator. Already, he's racked up $US1.4 million in funding. He said in an interview with Inc.:
'I felt like there was a lot more to me than what I was doing at work. Starting a company sounded exciting and was something I always wanted to try. It wasn't easy to leave a job I had worked so hard to get, but it was now or never.'
Nicole Shariat Farb was worked in the bank's tech, media and telecom division, and also as head of emerging private companies.
Ryan Frankel spent about four years working in various roles at Goldman Sachs, working as an analyst. After a brief stint at PIMCO, he launched his own startup in 2011: VerbalizeIt, which provides language translation services.
Frankel told Business Insider he came up with the idea for the product when he fell ill in China and realised there was a need for businesses and consumers to transcend language barriers. Other investors agree. So far, the startup has raised about $US2.5 million in venture funding.
In 2013, Goldman Sachs would spin out its financial technology firm, REDI Technologies, into a standalone company.
Zia Yusuf worked on industrials, aerospace and defence at Goldman Sachs before setting out on his own earlier this year.
He launched Velocity, which links with restaurant systems to let diners pay for their meals via an app. The London-headquartered startup signed up more than 300 restaurants in the UK.
Mariam Naficy began her investment banking career at Goldman Sachs, but was bitten by the startup bug in the late 1990s and never looked back. In 1998, she founded Eve.com, and eventually was managing 125 people before the site's sale to Idealab.
In 2007, she founded Minted, a VC-backed e-commerce company for home goods. To date, Minted has scored nearly $US90 million in funding from big names like Benchmark, Technology Crossover Ventures, Allen & Co. and Marissa Mayer. Here she is talking development strategy.
Courtney Reum spent more than four years working in Goldman Sachs' retail and consumer group before he set out on his own, getting into numerous startups and venture capital initiatives. Perhaps the most visible is VeeV, an acai berry liqueur he launched in 2008. He told Inc. magazine in 2013:
'I wasn't married and didn't have many financial obligations, so it wasn't as risky as it might have seemed. And it never hurts to know people who have access to capital. All of my angel investors were people I met through working at Goldman.'
After spending more than a year working at Goldman Sachs as an investment banking analyst, Christopher Altchek launched Mic, which dubs itself 'a news company for young people,' with a colleague, Jake Horowitz.
Today, the site is worth about $US100 million and is a commercial and critical success, landing interviews with the likes of President Barack Obama.
Kiran Shastri spent more than seven years with Goldman working on technology in India for its credit derivatives and equities trading. After leaving, he would launch an e-learning startup, but he didn't stop there.
He joined with Mayank Shah to launch SmartPocket, a mobile wallet to bring consumers' credit and debit cards onto their smartphones. Earlier this year, SmartPocket brought on its first round of venture funding.
The New York-based startup helps corporate clients recruit more minority candidates for roles. Earlier this year, Jopwell picked up a $US1 million round of funding.
After spending more than seven years at the bank, including as its co-head of European interest products, Patrick de Nonneville left Goldman earlier this year.
De Nonneville would join not one, but two startups: he signed on with French business lender Lendix as its COO in January. On top of that, he's also a board member with international cash transfer firm Kantox.
Ilya Kondrashov worked on 'some cool internet deals' in his time at Goldman Sachs as an analyst for nearly three years, until he left in 2011. That same year, he joined MarketInvoice as a co-founder and COO.
The startup lets investors to back small businesses' invoice to expedite the flow of goods (and, capital). Other investors are buying in, as well: to date, MarketInvoice has raised about $US28 million in venture funding, with a big chunk of that coming in separate August and September 2015 rounds.
Adrienne Penake spent a year on Goldman Sachs' fixed income desk as an analyst before joining Bear Stearns and, later, startup Prosper.
In 2010, she joined Articulate Technologies, the parent company of SpeechBuddy, which makes software to help children overcome speech disorders. Articulate Technologies has added two rounds of seed funding and Penake today is the company's CEO.
Robert Kane held a critical role at Goldman Sachs, and at a critical time. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he was a network security officer for the bank.
Barhydt went on to launch several startups in his post-Goldman career, including a cash transfer app
In the mid 1990s, Bill Barhydt worked as a senior analyst for Goldman Sachs for nearly three years. He went on to found a slew of startups and is now on a mission to make cash digital.
In the late 1990s, Greg Besner spent more than four years working in Goldman Sachs' fixed income and investment management divisions. He went on to work at Merrill Lynch and later, launched a startup that was sold in 2007.
Today he's founder and CEO of Culture IQ, a startup that uses data to provide analysis of workplace cultures for corporate clients. CultureIQ has raised seed funding since its 2013 launch.
The startup, which has raised little capital to date, connects buyers and sellers in the corporate bond market.
Andrew Blachman worked as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs in Menlo Park and Hong Kong before leaving to work with a number of e-commerce companies, including Ticketmaster and StubHub, before he also invested in SeatGeek.
Hank Uberoi spent 14 years at Goldman Sachs, some of it as a partner and co-COO in the bank's technology division, before joining Citadel Investment Group.
Umber Ahmad spent years crunching numbers at big banks including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs doing big deals. But, when she was done, she took the edge off with a pie instead of a pint.
She left Goldman in 2007 to launch her own investment firm, but it wouldn't be until 2013 that she launched Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery with the help of celeb chef Tom Colicchio.
Chad Laurans got his start at Goldman Sachs, working as an analyst before heading off to private equity firm Apax Partners.
For most of the last decade, Laurans has been CEO of wireless home security startup SimpliSafe, a home security startup. In 2014, SimpliSafe took in a whopping $US57 million round from Sequoia Capital.
James Giancotti spent three years at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan but quit banking in 2013 to launch Taxiwise (since acquired).
Since then, Giancotti launched Oddup, which aims to connect venture investors with startups; became a founding partner of Bigcolors, which partners with startups; and backed Cancelex, a cancer treatment. Oddup has taken on two rounds of seed funding since its launch last year.
Aleksandr Yampolskiy spent two years on security engineering with Goldman Sachs before heading off to Gilt Groupe as its head of security and compliance.
He would go on to have a startup career over the next five years with various companies, founding SecurityScorecard in 2013 in New York. Today, the startup boasts a healthy roster list of investors from two rounds of funding, including Boldstart Ventures, Atlas Venture and Sequoia Capital.
Becca Brown and Monica Ferguson spent more than a decade, combined, working at Goldman Sachs with roles in fixed income, investment management and private wealth advice before setting out on their own.
When they did, they launched Solemates, a startup that sells products that make women's shoes more comfortable. In a recent interview with Business Insider, Becca Brown dished on what Solemates imported from Goldman Sachs that it uses in its hiring process.
Hart Lambur spent nearly eight years at Goldman Sachs before he left in 2013, after rising to the role of vice president of interest rate trading.
After that, he launched Openfolio, based on a simple premise: at Goldman, the tight trader community freely shared and discussed ideas. Openfolio aims to bring the same level of discourse to people who don't work at banks: it's a social network for users to share data about their portfolios.
Robert Reffkin spent more than six years working at Goldman, including a stint at the very end as chief of staff to Goldman Sachs' president and COO.
However, in 2012, Reffkin left and launched Compass, a real estate website focusing on high-end properties. He brought with him an all-star team of tech talent, and that has helped Compass grow into a firm valued at $US800 million in its most recent round, a $US50 million injection from Instititutional Venture Partners.
Amar Kuchinad was a managing director at Goldman Sachs for nearly seven years, after spending the previous eight at Credit Suisse.
After a brief stint working as a policy adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Kuchinad launched Electronifie in 2013, an marketplace for corporate bond traders. So far, the startup has packed on $US8 million in funding, including this round earlier in the year.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.