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The 10 most impressive new managing directors at Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs MDs 2017

Moran Forman: one of the top new MDs at Goldman Sachs

Last week. Goldman Sachs promoted its largest ever number of managing directors: 509 people were elevated to the level below partner. All of them are special, but some – by virtue of the speed of their promotion and the business areas they work in – seem a little more special than others.

We’ve suggested 10 of the most interesting and impressive new Goldman  managing directors below. You’ll notice that most of them come from trading, technology and strats – the fastest routes to the top at GS.  By comparison, if you want to make managing director in the investment banking division, you’ll typically need to work your way up for at least 11 years.

1. Jesse Cohen, equities program trading strat, New York

Jesse Cohen is the wunderkind of this year’s Goldman Sachs managing director class. He completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Harvard University in 2010, making him aged around 28 now.

Cohen joined Goldman in 2011 after completing an MPhil in computational biology at Cambridge University. He’s therefore been promoted to MD in only six years – around the time you’d typically make senior associate in the investment banking division (IBD).

Cohen works on Goldman’s strats team and is aligned to the program trading business, which the firm is seeking to expand.

2. Moran (Baldar) Forman, index derivatives trading, New York

Moran Forman is one of the 122 women promoted to managing director at Goldman Sachs this year.

Like Cohen she’s young: she graduated from Columbia in 2009 with a bachelors in economics, and is aged just 29.

Forman joined J.P. Morgan after university, where she distinguished herself on the index derivatives trading desk. She joined Goldman four years later, in 2012. Forman was named “one to watch” under 30 by Forbes in 2015.

3. Pramod Vaidyanathan, portfolio manager and trader in the investment management division. New York

In the event that the Volcker Rule is repealed and banks can go back to prop trading, Vaidyanathan will be a man to watch.

A graduate in engineering and mathematics, Vaidyanathan began his career in risk management at Citi. After a year and a half he moved into equity derivatives trading, where he became one of Citi’s leading equity derivatives traders, before moving to Goldman in August 2015.

4. Michael Fargher, head of GBP swaps trading, London 

Like Vaidyanathan and 33% of the other MDs on this year’s list, Fargher is not a Goldman lifer. He only joined the firm in 2013, after a year at hedge fund Millennium Partners. Four years later, he’s an MD.

Fargher’s route to the top at Goldman isn’t just about this four year sprint, however. – He worked for Goldman for two years between 2009 and 2011 before leaving to complete a double Masters in economics and development studies at Oxford University.

5. Richard Chambers, rates trader, New York

Chambers is another star trader who joined Goldman only recently.

A graduate of the National University of Ireland at Galway in 2005, Chambers completed a Masters in Finance qualification at the UK’s Warwick Business School in 2006.

He then spent nearly seven years as a rates trader at BNP Paribas in London before joining BlueCrest Capital Management and then Goldman in New York in 2015.

6. Erkko Etula, strategic quantitative asset allocation, New York

If you’re looking for a view on rising interest rates and market movements, Etula is the person to get it from.

Etula graduated from Harvard with a PhD in economics in 2009. He briefly became an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before joining Goldman in 2010. At GS he’s part of the investment strategy group and responsible for research into quantitative asset allocation. Until 2016, Etula was also an adjunct professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, where he taught monetary policy and banking.

7. Samuel Krasnik, head of FAST technology for the fixed income, currencies and commodities division, New York 

The FAST team is one of the most interesting technology teams at Goldman Sachs. A hybrid between data analytics and technology, FAST stands for Franchise Analytics, Strategy & Technology. FAST sits within the Strats Group and is about developing analytics into tools that can be used by Goldman’s fixed income currency and commodities (FICC) traders and salespeople to deliver insights and build decisions.

Krasnik has a bachelors in computer science from Cornell University. He started his banking career on shaky ground at Bear Stearns in 2008, before moving to J.P. Morgan and then on to Goldman Sachs in 2009.

8. Scott Weinstein, Marquee Engineering, New York

Like Krasnik, Weinstein is working on one of Goldman’s key technology programs. Marquee is Goldman’s move to make its previously proprietary SecDB risk and pricing system directly accessible to clients and Weinstein is a key player.

He’s a frequent contributor to Goldman’s StackOverflow page and joined the firm in 2013 after working for Citi and Lab49, a technology consulting company which specializes in capital markets. 

9. Piotr Zurawski, head of a team of systematic trading strategists, London 

As systematic trading becomes more important at Goldman, Piotr was one of several systematic traders promoted in the last MD round (others included Jason D’Silva and Philip Coreau).

Piotr graduated from the London School of Economics in 2011 with a PhD in Financial Economics. He then joined the National Bank of Poland in Warsaw before moving to J.P. Morgan in London. At Goldman, he heads a team of systematic traders who manage vanilla and exotic derivative risks written GS Systematic Trading Strategies.

10. Ketan Vyas, strategist, New York

With the front office strats team emerging as one of the fastest routes to become an MD at Goldman Sachs, Vyas is a poster-boy for the new path to the top.

Vyas graduated with a DPhil in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2010. He joined Goldman in 2010 and has therefore made MD in just seven years.

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Comments (1)

Comments
  1. This article shows how poorly HR and senior management are making decisions on promoting. All these sectors are in natural growth and the people in question (not questioning their direct value) happened to be at the right spot at the right time. It would be much more interesting to see these rapid career progress in areas where the general business has grown averagely and or even decrease, those would be people who thrive in hard times and those in my view would deserve a lot more reference.

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