Goldman Sachs is Transforming into a Digital Bank

Its four main segments are global markets, investment banking, asset management and consumer & wealth management.

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Need to Know

  • Goldman Sachs is reorganized to putting greater focus on consumer-facing products
  • Major focus includes recently revamped lending platform Marcus, the first digital-only bank offering consumer deposits
  • Hopes are still high for Marcus, though the app has experienced a loss of $1.3 billion since 2016 
  • This restructure follows Goldman Sachs’ recent high-profile collaboration with Apple, another effort to pull back the curtain on the banking giant

Analysis

Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has reorganized its reporting structure, and is putting a greater focus on consumer banking efforts. This shift will result in Goldman Sachs more closely resembling its peers and offers investors insight into how Goldman compares. 

The bank’s four new major segments are global markets, investment banking, asset management and consumer & wealth management, but perhaps the greatest shift is within consumer & wealth management. 

According to Goldman Sachs, “Consumer & Wealth Management is a new segment that includes management and other fees, incentive fees and results from deposit-taking activities related to the firm’s wealth management business.” 

Interestingly, this segment also provides loans and accepts deposits through the firm’s revamped digital platform, Marcus. 

Marcus was initially launched as a consumer lending platform but was later leveraged by a bank Goldman Sachs had purchased. Marcus evolved into “the first digital-only bank offering consumer deposits without piggy-backing on the charter of another financial institution.” 

The platform has experienced exceptional growth in recent months and in October of 2019 reported a solid $55 billion in deposits. In November, Marcus announced it would offer stock trading and Individual Savings Accounts in the UK.  

Not only was Marcus groundbreaking for the Goldman Sachs brand, but the banking giant also recently established a high-profile relationship with Apple when launching the Apple Card – described as “completely rethinking everything about a credit card.”

Offering value, transparency, and simplicity, the Apple partnership launched Goldman Sachs into the coveted position as a top credit card issuer in the U.S. and was catapulted in a market their competitors had taken decades to build. 

This move to evolve Goldman Sachs into a more consumer-facing brand is the next step taken by CEO David Solomon as he attempts to transition the banking giant from a “somewhat secretive Wall Street trading house to a bank with more diversified revenue streams.”

The new division still has a way to go to compete with Goldman’s other offerings. The new consumer and wealth management unit generated $124 million in pre-tax earnings in the third quarter, just 1/10th of what the global markets segment produced. And while hopes are still high for Marcus, the platform has reportedly experienced losses of around $1.3 billion since 2016.

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