We’re into the final straight. In almost exactly one month’s time, Goldman Sachs will announce its 2022 partner class. The last class, announced in November 2020 at the height of the pandemic, was the smallest ever at just 60 people. This year’s is unlikely to be bigger, and may well be smaller.
By this stage, most people know whether they’re likely to make it. The cross-ruffing process, under which Goldman’s 400 or so existing partners are quizzed on their interactions with the potential new partners, is typically completed at the end of the summer. The final list is now being honed. “A lot of people are expecting it,” says one New York headhunter. “I think many will be disappointed.” A senior London headhunter is equally pessimistic: “It’s going to be a very short list.”
In a year in which investment banking fees at Goldman are down by around 50%, some of the new partner hopefuls are nonetheless working in the investment banking division (IBD). In London, they’re thought to include Stephen Considine, a managing director in the financial institutions group (FIG), as well as Chris Emmerson in the mid-market M&A group formed in 2020.
In equities sales and trading, New York sources say a few people are likely to be on the list. They include Adam Davis, in US franchise trading, Jessica Janowitz in derivative sales, Adam Siegler, head of retail client trading in global markets, and Pierre Benichou, in equity structured products, who joined from Credit Suisse in 2014.
The real question, though, is who will make partner in fixed income currencies and commodities trading this year. As Goldman’s consumer dream fades and as its fixed income traders resume responsibility for driving revenues and profitability, there will be plenty of big expectations on FICC desks this year. In London, the hope is that Nohshad Shah will be promoted, possibly trumping Marco Branca. Booming commodities desks are also a source of potential promotions, as are female and minority MDs. In quant trading, the likes of Nick Baltas, head of R&D, portfolio construction and cross-asset delta one systematic trading could be on the list.
Other GS women in the sweet spot include: Sarah Kiernan, head of US commodities sales; Amal Alibair, head of US institutional client solution sales and Gina Lytle in the financial and strategic investors group in San Francisco.
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