Goldman Sachs veteran Forst retires

Listen to this article


Goldman Sachs co-head of investment management, Edward Forst, is to retire from Goldman Sachs at the end of the year, according to a letter circulated to employees on Friday.

The move caps a year of high staff turnover at the investment bank, as it has sought to reduce headcount and cut costs in the face of regulatory changes and pressure on its core businesses.

Mr Forst, a 16-year Goldman veteran, will be replaced by Eric Lane, a partner since 2002, who has acted as chief operating officer for Goldman’s asset management business for the past two years. Tim O’Neill will remain as the other co-head of investment management, the job he has held since 2008.

The chairman of the division remains Jim O’Neill, who is credited with coining the Bric acronym now commonly used to describe the fast-growing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, and is the former chief economist for the bank.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management has struggled to increase its assets under management since the financial crisis, as it has wrestled with patches of poor performance and allegations that the bank had profited from customers’ troubles during the financial crisis.

The firm mostly manages third-party money for institutions, such as pension funds and endowments, and has seen the value of equity assets it manages more than halve since the end of 2007, from $255bn to $123bn at the end of the third quarter, due to a combination of poor performance and client redemptions.

Total non-money market related assets have fallen over the same period by 7 per cent, to $614bn, as inflows to fixed income products have partly offset the decline in equity assets.

The management change comes at the end of a year in which Goldman has cut more than 1,000 jobs, and seen the departure of some senior partners, such as Kevin Kennedy, a member of the Goldman executive committee.

It is the second time that Mr Forst has left Goldman. He was appointed co-head of investment management in 2007, but the following year left to become the first executive vice-president of Harvard University.

In that role, Mr Forst was the university’s senior operating officer, a senior adviser to the president and a member of the board of the Harvard Management Company, which oversees the university endowment.

During the financial crisis, Hank Paulson, as Treasury secretary, called on Mr Forst to be a key adviser on the $700bn financial rescue plan.

However, he returned to Goldman following the financial crisis in a strategy role, and was reappointed to the role of co-head of investment management last year.

Following his retirement at the end of this year, he intends to concentrate on his philanthropic activities. Mr Forst is co-chair of Harvard University’s taskforce on balanced philanthropy, co-chair of Harvard’s 30th reunion campaign, and a member of the university’s stem cell science advisory board.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't copy articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.