Goldman Sachs announced a big shakeup on Thursday as incoming CEO David Solomon cements his new leadership team before taking over for Lloyd Blankfein in October.
The changes represent the rise of investment bankers over traders, who dominated the top ranks under Blankfein and have jockeyed back and forth with the bankers for power during much of the firm’s history. But since the aftermath of the financial crisis, revenue derived from providing clients with advice on mergers and capital raising have proven to be more stable than trading.
Solomon and his deputies have a number of challenges ahead of themselves. Goldman last year embarked on a $US5 billion growth plan and is also trying to grow out its consumer banking business.
Here are the new leaders at the top of Goldman.
John Waldron, president and chief operating officer
Waldron takes Solomon’s previous role as the No. 2 to the CEO.
He joined Goldman in 2000 and became a partner in 2002. Like Solomon, Waldron also spent many years working at Bear Stearns.
Stephen Scherr, chief financial officer
Stephen Scherr, the head of the consumer and commercial banking division, will become chief financial officer, as CFO Marty Chavez shifts to become one of three co-heads of the securities division.
Scherr is close to Blankfein, and while he and Solomon haven’t always seen eye to eye, they have recently patched up their differences, according to people who work closely with both of them.
Scherr previously ran Goldman’s strategy division as well as other senior roles throughout investment banking.
He joined Goldman in 1993 and became partner in 2002.
Marty Chavez, co-head of the securities division
Chavez, Goldman’s former CFO, is now reassigned to co-head Goldman’s securities division.
He returns to lead Goldman’s trading group, where he began his career in the bank’s commodities division.
Chavez is best known for helping to develop Goldman’s internal software system, called Marquee.
Jim Esposito, co-head of the securities division
Esposito, a key member of Solomon’s inner circle, was named to co-lead Goldman’s trading group in August. He joins Chavez and Ashok Varadhan as co-head of the department that helps clients trade stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities.
The co-chief operating officer of the fixed-income, currencies and commodities unit for less than a year, Esposito will now help run a division that led Goldman to the top of Wall Street in the years surrounding the financial crisis only to fall on hard times more recently. The business is now trying to refashion itself into one with a more client-friendly approach.
Esposito joined Goldman in 1995 and became partner in 2006.
Ashok Varadhan, co-head of the securities division
Varadhan was the last man standing when his two securities division coheads, Pablo Salame and Isabelle Ealet, stepped down earlier this year.
He now joins forces with Esposito and Chavez to lead the division.
Varadhan joined Goldman Sachs in swaps trading in 1998, making managing director two years later and partner two years after that. At the time, he was just 29, making him one of Goldman Sach’s youngest-ever partners.
He held roles across rates, currencies, emerging markets, and commodities before becoming global head of macro trading in 2012. He became cohead of securities in 2014.
His father, Srinivasa S. R. Varadhan, is a prize-winning mathematician who was recently awarded an honorary degree from Duke University. In college Varadhan was head manager of Duke University’s men’s basketball team.
Marc Nachmann, co-head of the investment banking division
Nachmann moved to London last year after being named one of three division co-heads. He’s seen as a skilled risk manager and chairs the division’s risk committee, a role that some insiders saw as preparation for running the securities division. With Chavez becoming the third co-head, Nachmann is on the outside looking in. He was also seen as a long shot for the finance role that Scherr got today.
Prior to his current role, Nachmann ran Goldman’s financing group. He’s also run natural resources investment banking. Some colleagues consider him in Solomon’s inner circle.
Gregg Lemkau, co-head of the investment banking division
Lemkau is considered one of the last, and most senior, traditional coverage bankers in investment banking after a spate of exits in recent years. He and Nachmann will now run the investment banking division by themselves, in a structure that may persist or get an additional partner if Solomon decides to name a replacement for Waldron.
He was a key man in Solomon’s succession plan, named to cohead of investment banking after his boss ascended to the copresident role. Like Esposito, Lemkau has been the COO of the division under Solomon and spent time in Europe and Asia, considered training grounds for senior leaders.
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