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Goldman Sachs plans a 30% surge in advisor ranks by 2020

Goldman Sachs is looking to hire at least 200 more advisors in the next few years.

The gold-plated wealth management boutique has just over 700 private advisors, and has set a goal of raising that work staff by 30% by 2020, CEO Lloyd Blankfein announced during the firm’s presentation at the 2018 Credit Suisse Financial Services forum.

Jim McNamara joined Goldman Sachs in 1998, became managing director in 2000 and made partner in 2006.
A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. logo hangs on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, May 19, 2010. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. racked up trading profits for itself every day last quarter. Clients who followed the firmÕs investment advice fared far worse. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The firm wants to increase its client coverage and distribution using multiple channels, including private wealth management, third-party distribution and institutional.

“In private wealth management, we saw very strong long-term net inflows of $17 billion last year, up from $12 billion in 2016,” Blankfein said at the conference. “Wealth creation is expanding at a fast clip, and given the strength of our offering and brand, we haven't seen the limit to where this segment of the market can grow.”

Indeed, the high-net-worth and ultrahigh-net-worth segments that Goldman focuses on are growing globally. There are currently 36 million millionaires across the world, according to Credit Suisse data, and that number is expected to hit 44 million by 2022.

“The world seems to be growing rich people faster than we can grow advisors to cover them. Our average revenue per adviser is about $4.5 million, much higher than our large bank competitors,” Blankfein said.

The hiring strategy is a new turn for Goldman. Historically, it has relied on its training program to bring in and cultivate new talent, rather than recruit more experienced advisors. It’s the only firm at the moment utilizing this approach, recruiter Bill Willis says.

“I would daresay the vast majority of that workforce is legacy Goldman Sachs [and] organic growth, as opposed to [people] brought in from the competition,” Willis says. He notes that Goldman’s 30% goal is likely attainable.

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