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Joe Duran Photo: Joseph Llanes
United Capital CEO Joe Duran

United Capital Will Become Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management

In related news, CEO Joe Duran will buy an apartment in New York, where Goldman is headquartered, an indication that he’ll continue to lead the business he built.

Goldman Sachs announced Wednesday that United Capital, the registered investment advisor it acquired about six months ago, will be rebranded as Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management. The change will likely happen in the spring, said United Capital CEO Joe Duran, whose title will change to head of Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management.  

“We don’t think there’s been a new and interesting brand in the affluent market since Vanguard and Schwab and Fidelity a couple decades ago,” Duran said in an interview with “There’s an interesting opportunity for Goldman Sachs to be a dominant brand for the affluent marketplace.”

Duran said he was very involved in creating the name, as were the RIA’s advisors. Over 1,000 end clients also provided feedback on picking a name.

“Having our names aligned is just logical,” Duran said. “It also, frankly for us, they’re a much better-known retail brand than United Capital was. I don’t pretend that United Capital even has a dent of the kind of reputation that Goldman Sachs has for end clients.”

Goldman, traditionally known for its asset management, investment banking and capital markets desks, has been keen on tapping into the retail wealth management market for some time. United Capital provides the avenue to grow into that high-net-worth/mass-affluent market.

In an investor presentation, Eric Lane, global co-head of the consumer and investment management division of Goldman, said the firm plans to serve clients across the wealth spectrum; those with over $10 million in investable assets will most likely be served by the private wealth group, while those with between $1 and $10 million in assets will also be advisor-led relationships, whether that’s via Ayco or Duran’s division. The firm currently has less than 1% market share in this market.

Lane said the firm plans to boost its U.S. advisor head count in the private wealth division by 20% over the next three years. 

Mass affluent consumers, the idea is, will be served by a digitally enabled advice platform. More details on the firm’s automated advice platform, or so-called robo advisor, are to come in the months ahead, Duran said.

In December, Duran told that Goldman’s so-called robo advisor was “on track” for a 2020 launch and that the minimum investment is yet to be finalized.

The acquisition of United Capital also included its FinLife Partners white-label technology platform. But no decisions have been made on what that group will be called. The firm announced in November that it has integrated some of Goldman’s capabilities into FinLife CX, its open-architecture technology platform, and named Rachel Schnoll, previously head of retail product strategy for Goldman Sachs Asset Management, as the new head of FinLife CX.

Duran said he wasn’t married to the United Capital name.

“It was my child, not my spouse,” he said.

He expects to close on an apartment in New York, where Goldman is headquartered, next week, an indication that he expects to lead the business he built for the foreseeable future.

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