Goldman Sachs Group Inc. elevated four executives in Asia in its biennial partner promotions, less than half the number from 2018, even as the region maintained its contribution to the US bank’s global revenue.
Only 7% of the partners promoted this year were based in Asia, compared to 14% two years back, according to Goldman’s earlier announcement. The new partners are Christina Ma and Ales Sladic from global markets and Michael Hui in asset management, all based in Hong Kong, as well as Gunjan Samtani from engineering in India. Goldman, the last major private firm on Wall Street, promoted 10 employees from the region in 2018.
Globally, Goldman picked 60 employees for its newest batch of partners, the fewest since 1998, a year before it went public. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon has said he’s trying to limit the partnership ranks to restore the exclusivity of the group, and had already tightened the reins in his first selection process as CEO in 2018, elevating just 69 partners when he was one month into his tenure.
The number of people joining the new partner class is the lowest in years for Asia, after the share of women and Black executives scoring promotions increased globally. In 2018, Goldman promoted Sean Fan and Li Zheng from the merchant banking group and investment banking team respectively, as it is seeking to expand its onshore presence in China. It also elevated executives in Sydney, Tokyo and Hong Kong at banking and securities divisions.
Asia contributed 14% of the net revenue to the group in the first nine months, up from 12% a year ago and unchanged from 2018. Still, the bank’s reputation has taken a hit in the region following yearslong probes into its fundraising for the scandal-plagued Malaysian fund known as 1MDB. The lender earlier this year incurred a record punishment for foreign bribery under a roughly $3 billion package of accords related to those investigations.