World’s Best Investment Bank 2020: How the client got to the heart of Goldman Sachs
The firm didn’t foresee the coronavirus crisis when it decided to pivot its investment bank more explicitly towards clients than ever before. But as so often, its timing could not have been better
When John Waldron told analysts in January 2020 how he and his colleagues were busy making Goldman Sachs’s investment bank into an even more formidable outfit than it already was, the havoc that Covid-19 would soon wreak on the world was, for most people, no more than the worst of worst-case projections.
Kicking off Goldman’s first-ever investor day, chief executive David Solomon had already outlined a root-and-branch rethink of the scope of Goldman’s business – pushing further into areas of consumer finance and wealth management – and how it was putting clients at the heart of everything it did. Part of Waldron’s task was to show how this applied to the firm’s historic engine, its investment bank.
“We didn’t want to be ambiguous about whether we were investing in our core business,” Waldron, Goldman’s chief operating officer, tells Euromoney. “We are diversifying, but it’s not as if we have put our core businesses on autopilot. On the contrary, we said they were strong but could be stronger.”