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Goldman Sachs: Growing like it promised

After setting ambitious targets in its 2020 investor day, Goldman Sachs has been making good on its promises across all areas of the firm.

For Goldman Sachs, 2021 was a year of strong financial performance as investment banking activity remained high and secondary market levels recovered, coupled with continuing efforts to broaden the bank’s franchise into less volatile areas.

Revenues were up 42% in the first nine months of 2021 to $46.7 billion, with investment banking up more than 60%, global markets up 7%, asset management up an astounding 152%, and consumer and wealth management up 27%. The $12 billion of revenues in asset management reflected the bounce back of the firm’s positions in equity and debt securities, which had been battered as the Covid pandemic hit but have since recovered well.

While the global markets' headline year-on-year performance looked less sprightly than other divisions, coming as it did off record levels of activity in the early period of the pandemic, the topline result concealed how the bank is making progress in more granular targets. And though FICC intermediation fell 14%, FICC financing – an area that the bank targeted for growth in its first-ever investor day in January 2020 – rose by 14%.

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