Stephen Scherr, the chief financial officer for Goldman Sachs, spoke at the Wolfe Research FinTech Forum on Tuesday (March 10) and mentioned that the bank could look to acquisitions as a way to grow its current ventures, Reuters reported.
“We’re … very open to the proposition of acquisitions that fill gaps or accelerate elements of our growth plan,” Scherr said at the forum, which was held via webcast and conference call because of the coronavirus.
David Solomon, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, has goals of expanding Marcus, its digital bank for consumers, along with Goldman’s credit card division and cash management solution.
Scherr said the bank is not currently looking to do “larger material transactions … in the near term.”
“I think you’ll find us to be much more acquisitive in the context of accelerating and facilitating the growth of business initiatives that are there, none of which would necessarily present themselves as … material to the firm overall,” he added.
Regarding the impact of the coronavirus, Scherr said that no bank employees are sick, but that “precautionary measures” are being implemented. Some people are working from home and some teams have split up into different office locations.
Scherr said Goldman is surveying potential hazards and has witnessed a “reduction broadly in liquidity” and some issues regarding the “cost of funding.”
Although Goldman’s workforce is virus-free, BlackRock told the New York Post that a worker at its New York location was identified as having the coronavirus. He has been in self-quarantine since last week.
“The employee has no symptoms. Upon first learning this individual may have been exposed, we communicated with the group where this person works and conducted a deep cleaning of the area,” BlackRock spokesman Brian Beades told Reuters.
As Goldman Sachs works to strengthen the ranks of its engineering personnel, it is competing with the largest tech firms for workers. Co-Chief Information Officer George Lee said the company has 10,000 developers, which is about 25 percent of its overall workforce. Lee said the stiffest competition comes from firms in the tech realm, including Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Google.