Goldman Sachs Hires From Rivals as It Expands EMEA Wealth Team

(Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is zeroing in on Europe, the Middle East and Africa as the Wall Street giant continues to build out its private-banking operations for the world’s wealthy.

The New York-based bank has recently hired at least six private wealth advisers in the region from rivals including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse and Rothschild & Co. It plans to continue looking outside the company for additional advisers, a senior executive said, while also shifting existing staff to some of EMEA’s hottest wealth markets.

“We’re very much in active hiring mode,” John Mallory, co-head of Goldman’s global private wealth-management division, said in a recent interview at the bank’s London office. “We absolutely are looking to increase that footprint, and nowhere at a faster clip than here in EMEA.”

Goldman is boosting its wealth-management and consumer-banking units as part of a strategy outlined by Chief Executive Officer David Solomon to make it less reliant on trading revenue.

That expansion contrasts with the bank’s moves elsewhere, with Goldman cutting thousands of positions last year as it faced a prolonged slump in investment banking amid a tougher macroeconomic climate. Meanwhile, its asset- and wealth-management unit reported net revenue of $13.9 billion in 2023, a 4% increase from a year earlier.

Goldman’s wealth division “does not get the same airtime as the alternatives business,” Autonomous Research analysts Christian Bolu and Richard Fellinger said in a Feb. 27 note. But “we view the business as equally important in the firm’s ambitions to increase earnings durability.”

In January, Goldman brought in JPMorgan’s Ben Williams to lead its private bank for Europe, Middle East and North Africa. It finalized hiring four Credit Suisse bankers this year, including Fahad Alebrahim, who’ll focus on Kuwait, while also recruiting Noel Dörr from Rothschild for German coverage.

Lucy da Gama Campos will relocate to Dubai from London as part of her expanded role on Goldman’s private-wealth team, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg, the contents of which were confirmed by a company spokesperson. The United Arab Emirates now has more than 68,000 millionaires, making it the Middle East’s most favored city for the rich, according to consultancy Henley & Partners.

Other global banks also are vying for a greater share of the wealth created in recent years, driving fierce competition for advisers who can bring billions of dollars in client assets.

HSBC Holdings Plc hired half-a-dozen private bankers from Credit Suisse in late 2023 to build out its services targeting wealthy families in EMEA. JPMorgan last week revamped its private banking leadership for the region, and in recent years has expanded a group led by veteran Andy Cohen that targets the world’s biggest fortunes, similar to Goldman’s Apex unit.

Stefan Bollinger, co-head of Goldman’s EMEA wealth-management business, said his team has boosted the number of offices in the region to more than a dozen from seven since the company began its wealth drive in 2018.

“The next growth phase should be easier,” Bollinger said in an interview. “We are now established in all the core markets.”

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