[caption id="attachment_223821" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] (L-R) U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Doug Villone, Global Head of Operations for Marcus by Goldman Sachs; U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, and Gov. John Carney cut the ribbon on Goldman Sachs' Wilmington office. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING[/caption]
WILMINGTON — Goldman Sachs cut the ribbon on its new Riverfront office Monday morning long after quietly moving into the Star Building, with many state and local officials and scores of young professionals in attendance, all primed to lead the firm’s next generation forward.The Wall Street banking titan announced in 2020 that it would open a Wilmington office as part of its new consumer credit and lending division. A little over a year after signing a long-term lease for the fifth floor of 123 S. Justison St., Goldman Sachs Consumer Chief Risk Officer and Head of Business Operations Brian King, announced that the firm would also be leasing and renovating the sixth floor.
[caption id="attachment_223822" align="alignleft" width="150"] The Star building was built in 2010 and will have two floors for banking titan Goldman Sachs. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING[/caption]
“We’re excited about the sixth floor, and essentially it’s more space for the large team we’re hiring,” King told the Delaware Business Times. “But what’s unique here for us is the talent in Wilmington that's focused on consumer finance. That’s really aligned with our journey and our vision for these markets: to deliver very consumer-centric products our customers use.”The Star building, built by Pettinaro in 2010, has been home to student loan service Navient, the law firm Grant & Eisenhofer, PA., and health care research company Healthcore. Goldman Sachs has rented approximately 11,000 square feet. There are around 100 employees hired at Goldman Sachs today, and while King declined to say whether expanding to a second floor would mean more jobs, he noted there was room to grow.The 151-year-old Goldman Sachs is perhaps better known for its investment management practice for the rich and its dealings in securities, particularly of the U.S. Treasury, but it entered the consumer banking market in 2016 when it acquired the online deposits of GE Capital Bank customers.It later entered the lending market through the launch of its fixed-rate lending service Marcus, which offers loans up to $30,000, and the credit market through the Apple Card, on which it partnered with Apple Inc. and uses both a physical titanium card and the Apple Wallet app. Over the last six years, Goldman Sachs has brought consumer lending to key markets in Utah, Texas, New York and Chicago. Its acquisition of fintech startup Greensky led it to make landfall in Atlanta. Now, Wilmington can also be added to that list.Goldman Sachs signed its first short-term lease in October 2020, and later inked a long-term lease in May 2021. Over the last 12 months, the firm has been renovating the space, with adding sitting and standing desks for a flexible workflow.King, who is a Wilmington native and a veteran of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, said that the decision was a “no-brainer.”“Wilmington checked many of the boxes: proximity to major U.S. cities, already existing leadership with three of us commuting to New York on a weekly basis, quality of life, and an engaged community,” he told officials during the ceremony. “But out of all [those factors], ultimately it came down to the long-fostered talent in consumer financial services. We could co-locate teams such as risks and product management. We saw both traditional and non-traditional financial backgrounds here, and we were excited about the diverse demographics of the city.”
[caption id="attachment_223823" align="alignright" width="300"] One third of Goldman Sachs employees in the U.S. offices are under 30 years old. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING[/caption]
At its Wilmington office, Goldman Sachs has plenty of young professionals in their early 20s to mid 30s, which firm officials credit to its “apprenticeship culture” in which our junior team members learn on the job by working with senior professionals to hone their skill set. One-third of the firm’s U.S. employees are under the age of 30. Goldman Sachs also hires interns, and King plans on working closely with higher education institutions to firm up a pipeline for talent.“The best recruiting mechanism is people we’ve known and worked with for years. But there’s a lot of great talent that's grown up in Delaware, and we have a lot of people who are referring their friends to come join us," he said. “But I’ve known Tony Allen from my MBNA days. There’s connections like that here, but we’re also looking forward to making the local universities here part of our strategy as we expand.”Gov. John Carney celebrated Goldman Sachs' arrival during the ceremony, teasing that he hoped a large sign would be placed on the building for all to see the firm was at the Riverfront. He looked at the city’s legacy of being the corporate and banking center of the world, pointing that Goldman Sachs would be the next chapter.“When you think about financial services, and the availability of talent, Wilmington has it — as evidenced by the people here in front of me,” the governor said.U.S. Sen. Tom Carper commented that when he first embarked onreviving the Riverfront in the 1990s, the continued success of Delaware’s financial services was part of his vision. But he also hoped, while serving as governor and working with the Riverfront Development Corporation, that the district would become a vibrant place that would attract young professionals as a strong place to live and play, as well as work.“We’re blessed with the opportunity to help folks in different ways, and one of the ways to do that is to provide a nurturing environment for job creation and preservation,” Carper said. “When we went to work on this Riverfront all those years ago, that was what we had in mind. And it has blossomed beyond really beyond our wildest dreams.”
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