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Goldman Sachs plans mass-market digital wealth management

By Lawrence Gash

Solomon’s retail push continues

Wall Street goliath and white shoe investment bank is preparing to offer digital wealth management services to individuals with as little as $5,000 (£3,800, €4,500).

The announcement is perhaps the most striking example of new chief executive David Solomon’s decision to pivot Goldman from Wall Street to Main Street.

Mr Solomon will lay out his full vision at a highly anticipated investor day next month. It is already clear however that he is pushing the firm into more mass market interests. Goldman is building a cash management business, pursuing smaller deals than in previous years and only recently partnered with Apple to issue the Apple Card.

Goldman’s interest in mass market wealth management was signalled in 2017 when it launched Marcus in the UK, which offered savings accounts and personal loans to a wide variety of households. Earlier this year it invested in the British digital wealth adviser Nutmeg, which will provide users with a tax-free investment account when it launches in 2020.

The investment bank also acquired the wealth management firm United Capital in May for $750m (£570m, €677m). Its founder, Joe Duran, is heading up the team to develop Goldman’s robo-advisory service.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Duran said the service will develop solutions for clients with as little as “$5,000, $10,000 or $15,000” to invest.

With a market value of $80bn (£61bn, €72bn) this push to the everyday consumer has surprised commentators and figures within the financial industry, with some lamenting Goldman’s pivot from titan of high finance to mass-market issuer of credit cards that break in people’s wallets.

This trend only looks set to continue. Over the weekend it emerged that far from putting the brakes on the expansion of Marcus in Britain, Goldman is stepping it up and will launch a cash Isa and joint savings account next March.

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