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goldman-sachs-office-windows.jpg Askar Karimullin / Alamy Stock Photo

Goldman Sachs’ Adam Siegler to Lead Firmwide RIA Strategy

Despite Goldman Sachs’ sale of its Personal Financial Management unit, the Wall Street firm says it’s doubling down on serving registered investment advisors. “We don’t want to compete with RIAs. But we want to serve RIAs,” said a Goldman Sachs exec.

Goldman Sachs has appointed Adam Siegler, head of the third-party wealth business, Americas, within the global banking and markets division, to lead the One Goldman Sachs Registered Investment Advisor strategy, the firm’s coordinated effort to bring its capabilities across divisions to the RIA community.

In addition to the new role, Siegler will also continue to lead Goldman Sachs’ Americas Retail Client Segment for Equities; the Private Investor Product Group; Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions, the RIA custody unit; and Goldman Sachs Select.

Adam Siegler.jpg

Adam Siegler

Padi Raphael, global head of the third-party wealth business, has been leading the firmwide RIA strategy since Joe Duran, co-head of the Personal Financial Management Group, left earlier this year. Raphael said the initiative was in a nascent stage when Duran left, and the firm has been assessing over the last six months the firm’s capabilities and how it wants to approach the RIA segment. With Siegler’s appointment, the firm launches a more formal RIA “go-to-market” strategy.

It comes at a time when Goldman Sachs is exiting the RIA market, in a way. The firm just recently agreed to sell its Personal Financial Management business, formerly United Capital, which Duran sold to the company in 2019, to Creative Planning. Raphael said the sale of PFM puts a fine point on, “We don’t want to be an RIA. We don’t want to compete with RIAs. But we want to serve RIAs.”

In fact, she said the firm is now doubling down on those efforts, and has been meeting with RIA clients at all levels of the organization.

“All of this is now drawing to a point of formalizing our go-to-market approach, and Adam’s appointment as a formal One GS strategy lead for our RIA initiative is a really important statement internally and also externally around our level of commitment to the industry,” she said.

And while Goldman has, of course, served RIAs in one form or another for decades, the firm now wants to be more deliberate in terms of how they serve that community and bring in all the components RIAs find attractive to the market. That includes asset management products on the public and private side, banking and lending solutions, capital markets, structured products, the equity and fixed income desks, and custody.

“We’ve been covering in some fashion that client base for a long time,” Raphael said. “We’ve been doing that in a product-focused way, where we’ve had salespeople aligned to a particular product who would interact with an RIA for that product scope. What we’re embarking on now is to take stock of all our capabilities and to further develop those capabilities and deliver that back to RIAs in the way that is solutions-focused, rather than products-focused.”

The first step to achieving that, she said, is to listen to RIAs and better understand how they run their businesses. So far, the firm is hearing some common themes coming out of these discussions.

“In particular, we hear large ambitions and challenges for our RIA clients in accessing, consuming, educating clients around alternatives and private markets,” she said. “So a lot of our time internally across asset management and global markets is being spent on trying to solve some of those pain points, again by stitching together our various different capabilities.

It’s not just about pitching the next fund that we have on the shelf, but it’s about creating a really seamless and smooth journey for an RIA to be able to educate their advisors, to consult on portfolio construction, to be able to deliver operationally the fund and funds in a way that’s easy to consume, and then to do all of the aftercare required from that point on.”

One Goldman Sachs is an internal client services initiative.

“We are now intently focused on delivering market-leading solutions to RIAs, including asset management, across public and private markets, structured notes, lending, deposits and custody so that financial advisors in turn can deliver exceptional service to their high net worth and mass affluent clients,” said Marc Nachmann, global head of the asset and wealth management division at Goldman.

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