EXCLUSIVE-Goldman Sachs seeks to expand private credit portfolio to $300 billion in five years


By Saeed Azhar

NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Asset Management, a unit of Goldman Sachs Group GS.N, aims to expand its private credit portfolio to $300 billion in five years from the current $130 billion, a senior executive said, laying out an aggressive expansion plan.

"It's a huge opportunity," Marc Nachmann, Goldman's global head of asset and wealth management, told Reuters in an interview.

Goldman's private credit aspirations are larger than those of its peers, including Morgan Stanley MS.N which aims to double its private credit portfolio to $50 billion in the medium term as it gathers funds from large investors.

JPMorgan Chase JPM.N has earmarked at least $10 billion for private credit, and Wells Fargo WFC.N and Citigroup C.N have set up partnerships to get deeper into the market.

Of the $40 billion to $50 billion Goldman plans to raise for alternative investments this year, at least a third will be dedicated to financing private credit strategies, he said.

Non-bank lenders, or shadow banks, have expanded their lending in recent years as they faced fewer regulatory hurdles than traditional lenders.

Wall Street banks have also joined forces with private equity giants and asset managers to expand their private credit businesses. Goldman Sachs has been active in private credit for almost three decades.

The asset management arm has a variety of strategies for private credit for different tiers of investors in companies who get paid back depending on the type of debt or equity they hold, Nachmann said.


Goldman Sachs has touted asset and wealth management as a growth area as it stepped back from an ill-fated foray into consumer banking. Its investment banking and trading division accounts for about 70% of the firm's revenue.

Nachmann, a three-decade Goldman veteran, was put in charge of asset and wealth management after CEO David Solomon merged the businesses in 2022.

Since then, Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) has lost some high-profile managers, including former chief investment officer Julian Salisbury, who joined investment firm Sixth Street. Katie Koch departed after two decades to become CEO of asset manager TCW Group.

While staff turnover is expected when businesses are brought together, morale is still strong, Nachmann said.

"People are very much focused on executing our strategy around the two big businesses and are very comfortable around the direction of the firm," he said.

The bank is hiring across asset and wealth management, Nachmann said.


Nachmann aims to improve GSAM's return on equity to a mid-teens percentage in the medium term by trimming the bank's own investments held on its balance sheet, which have been a drag on returns.

The legacy investments fell to $16.3 billion at the end of the fourth quarter 2023 from about $30 billion at the end of 2022, faster than an internal target.

"We will keep selling down over the next three to four years," Nachmann said. "We will get to a place where it is not material from a financial impact."

He also sees opportunities to increase the $1 trillion wealth management business, focusing on ultra-high-net-worth clients in overseas markets in Europe and Asia by adding advisers and boosting lending to private bank clients. Currently, 80% of Goldman's wealth business is in the U.S.

"We believe we can double the business internationally over the next few years," he said.

Goldman's lending in wealth management as a percentage of its wealth client assets is 3%, well below an average of 9% among its peers, according to a report by Autonomous Research.

"We can do more there - lending to wealthy people is a good business," Nachmann said.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar in New York Editing by Lananh Nguyen and Matthew Lewis)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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