Another top exec exiting Goldman's asset management biz

Steve McGuinness, co-COO of investment management unit and global head of distribution, will depart next month

Mar 2, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

By Jessica Toonkel

Steve McGuinness, co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s investment management business and global head of distribution, is leaving the firm next month.

Mr. McGuinness, a 19-year GSAM veteran, is co-COO of the firm’s investment management business with Eric Lane. The investment management unit includes Goldman’s private wealth management.

As part of his duties, Mr. McGuinness, a managing director and partner at GSAM, is responsible for facilitating communication among the firm’s regional-distribution leaders. Mr. Lane will take over his responsibilities, according to people familiar with the situation.

Melissa Daly confirmed Mr. McGuinness’ pending departure but declined to comment.

His is the latest in a number of high-profile departure from GSAM. Last year, Marc A. Spilker, co-head of the investment management division and member of the management company, retired and was replaced by Edward C. Forst, who previously was the senior strategy officer and a member of the bank’s management committee.

Mr. McGuinness reports to Mr. Forst and Tim O’Neill, co-head of Goldman’s investment management division.

In December, Eileen Rominger, chief investment officer at GSAM and an 11-year veteran of the firm, stepped down. In January, the Securities and Exchange Commission named her head of the Division of Investment Management.

Goldman’s private-wealth-management unit made headlines this year when it offered clients the opportunity to invest in Facebook, only to withdraw the offer to U.S. clients a few weeks later due to regulatory concerns.

GSAM has struggled with underperformance, but seems to be improving in certain areas of late, said Karin Anderson, an analyst at Morningstar Inc. Forty-seven percent of GSAM’s U.S. diversified equity funds have outperformed their categories over the past three years; compared to 31% for the past five years and 30% for the past 10 years, according to Morningstar.

Similarly, 18% of the firm’s international stock funds have outperformed their categories for the past three years, up from 3.4% for the past five and 10 years, according to Morningstar.

“Given what the market went through over the past years, that’s worth noting,” she said.

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