One of Goldman Sachs’ biggest rainmakers at its equity trading business is leaving the Wall Street bank after more than two decades.
Joe Montesano, 46, Goldman’s head of equity trading for the Americas, is retiring from the bank, the group told employees on Monday in a memo, which was seen by the Financial Times.
Montesano is leaving after three years of huge profits at the equity trading business, which benefited from enormous stock market volatility during the Covid-19 pandemic. Goldman’s revenues from equity trading totalled $11bn in 2022, up almost 50 per cent from 2019.
Profits were such that Montesano was paid more than the $35mn handed to chief executive David Solomon in 2021, according to one person familiar with the matter. Montesano does not yet have another job lined up, the person added.
Goldman confirmed the contents of the memo, which was first reported by Bloomberg, but declined to comment further.
Montesano joined Goldman in 1999 when he was working for Hull Group, an equity derivatives market maker that the bank acquired. He was elevated to partner in 2014.
Goldman’s famed alumni network is a bedrock of its success because employees who leave the bank often become clients. But there have been a number of notable departures of senior bankers during Solomon’s tenure.
These include chief financial officer Stephen Scherr, co-head of investment banking Gregg Lemkau, and co-head of asset management Eric Lane.
However, at Goldman’s investor day last week, Solomon said the bank’s internal numbers showed departures overall were in fact at the lowest levels in years.
“I read over and over again about partners leaving the firm. In 2022, there were less partner transitions at Goldman Sachs than any year at Goldman Sachs going back to 2014,” Solomon said in response to a question from an analyst about partner turnover.
“At the moment, year-to-date, our turnover is at a five-year low, not just for partners, in the whole firm.”
The three co-heads of Goldman’s global banking and markets division, Ashok Varadhan, Dan Dees and Jim Esposito, wrote in the memo that Montesano had “played an important role in strengthening our franchise”.
“He provided leadership expertise across client interaction, internal co-ordination and trading strategy, and has been instrumental in helping our clients mitigate challenging environments and high market volatility,” the trio wrote.
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