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Opinion

Sideways: Goldman’s Varadhan looks lonely

The retirement of Goldman Sachs securities co-head Marty Chavez leaves trading veteran Ashok Varadhan looking isolated.

The dominance of the investment banking lieutenants of Goldman chief executive David Solomon at the top of the firm was reinforced on September 3 when Chavez was replaced as one of three global securities co-heads by Marc Nachmann, who had been a co-head of investment banking.

Ashok_Varadhan-Goldman-160x186.png

Ashok Varadhan

Solomon has now installed two fellow former investment bankers in the roles of president and chief financial officer, and placed two former co-heads of global financing in joint charge of securities.

Nachmann has even less experience of sales and trading than Jim Esposito, who at least served a stint as head of strategy for the securities unit and as co-head of fixed income sales before he was appointed co-head of the overall division last year.

Nachmann gained a reputation as a capable risk manager when he was co-head of global financing, which includes debt and equity capital markets issuance.

His lack of dealing room experience nevertheless stands in stark contrast to Varadhan, the co-head of securities, who is increasingly looking like a relic of the Lloyd Blankfein era at Goldman when high-stakes traders dominated the firm.

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