13 December 2018

Goldman Tracking Ahead Of $5 Billion Revenue Goal

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc is tracking ahead of its goal to generate $5 billion in additional annual revenue by 2020 as growth initiatives bear fruit, its new finance chief said on Monday.

The revenue-boosting plan that management laid out last year has produced $2.5 billion so far in 2018, according to a presentation by Chief Financial Officer Stephen Scherr at an industry event. He stopped short of increasing the target, but suggested Goldman could still do better.

“While we are meeting our objectives, these initiatives are not the limit of our ambition. Numerous business opportunities exist beyond the $5 billion (target),” said Scherr, who plans to provide a strategic update in the spring.

The presentation marks the first under a new management team at Goldman Sachs. The bank is now led by a group of longtime dealmakers, including Chief Executive Officer David Solomon, who started on Oct. 1, Chief Operating Officer John Waldron and Scherr, who gave the presentation on his first day as CFO.

Goldman, once considered the most savvy Wall Street trading houses, has suffered as tougher regulations make it harder to maintain profits at its trading businesses and as customer trends change since the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Its new management wants to reshape the business. It is conducting a “front-to-back” review and will make a “clinical assessment” of whether each business is meeting its cost of capital, Scherr said, adding that the bank is not looking to shrink or exit businesses, but instead determine where to deploy capital for the best returns.

Scherr’s presentation showed Goldman making headway on plans to lend more to consumers and big businesses. Its fledgling digital bank, Marcus, now has 2 million customers and it wants to grow that business’s market share to eventually become a “one-stop shop for financial well-being,” Scherr said.

The bank is also working to improve areas such as trading, and to squeeze more revenue from the investment bank where Solomon and his deputies built their careers. That business has generated $40 billion in deal volume from new customers since Goldman launched its strategy in 2016.

Evercore ISI analyst Glenn Schorr said in a report last week that it could take a significant amount of time for Goldman to truly change its earnings mix by growing organically rather than pursuing a substantial acquisition. Whichever path it pursues, he said, the bank is headed in the right direction.

“Goldman Sachs really wants to get bigger in growth businesses that investors and clients value most,” Schorr said.

Goldman shares were down 0.9 percent at $227.71 in mid-morning trading.

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