Goldman Sachs to name former trading boss Tom Montag for board seat

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Goldman Sachs plans to nominate Tom Montag, a former partner at the Wall Street firm’s trading division and until recently a top executive at Bank of America, to its board of directors, according to a person briefed on the matter. 

The pending appointment of Montag would bring more trading and risk management expertise to Goldman’s board, which in recent years has added new members with distinguished careers in corporate America but who have limited Wall Street experience, including former Starbucks boss Kevin Johnson and Jessica Uhl, an ex-chief financial officer at Shell. 

The gap in risk management expertise has been an area that chair and chief executive David Solomon and his fellow board members have been trying to address, according to one person with knowledge of their thinking. 

Goldman declined to comment, while Montag could not immediately be reached for comment. News of Montag’s potential appointment was reported earlier by Bloomberg. 

The addition to the board of a former Goldman heavyweight with deep roots in its trading business would come amid internal dissent about Solomon’s leadership of the bank. Complaints have centred on a failed expansion into consumer banking and lower bonuses for 2022, as well as longstanding grumbling about Solomon’s hobby as a DJ and a decision early in his tenure for Goldman to buy two private aircraft. 

After falling by almost 50 per cent in 2022, Goldman’s net profits have continued to decline in 2023 amid a dearth of investment banking fees and slowdown in trading. Solomon is trying to expand in asset and wealth management so Goldman is less reliant on volatile investment banking and trading, but it currently does not have the same balance as longtime rival Morgan Stanley. 

Montag spent 22 years at Goldman, rising to be co-head of its powerful sales and trading business and a member of the its management committee. He joined the exclusive ranks of Goldman partners in 1994. 

He joined Merrill Lynch in 2008 shortly before its sale to BofA during the financial crisis. At BofA he gradually amassed more responsibilities, rising to be chief operating officer, and he was seen as a potential successor to chief executive Brian Moynihan. 

Montag ultimately retired from BofA in 2021. In 2022 he became chief executive of Rubicon Carbon, a carbon offset software platform backed by private investment group TPG. 

Additional reporting by Stephen Gandel in New York

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