When it comes to banking institutions, tech is often outside of their realm of expertise, even with companies as large and leading as Goldman Sachs. As a result, there is a trend of banking institutions hiring personnel from tech companies to front their tech initiatives. The latest headline in this trend is Goldman Sachs’s hiring of Uber technology executive Peeyush Nahar, who also counts 14 years at Amazon within his qualifications.
Nahar will be heading up Marcus, the company’s digital-banking unit. Since its establishment in 2016, Marcus has gone from just offering high-yield savings accounts to now a deep bench of services including unsecured installment loans, personal budgeting software, and digital-investing tools. Soon Marcus will be offering checking accounts as well with deals to issue credit cards with Apple Inc. and General Motors Co. inked for further development.
Despite these successes, Goldman Sachs has faced many challenges with Marcus, including a recent spree of executive departures that began in February when Omer Ismail left the company to spearhead Walmart’s new unnamed fintech. He had become Marcus’s leader only a month prior to leaving. Further departures followed, including Marcus’s head of product, Adam Dell, and Sherry Ann Mohan who was the digital bank’s chief financial officer.
Nahar will need to hit the ground running to help the digital bank reach Goldman executives’ goal of increasing deposits to $125 billion and more than doubling the loan portfolio by 2024. As of the end of March this year, Marcus tallied $8 billion of loan balances and about $100 billion of deposits, marking a time of high turnover for the unit. However, Nahar’s deep experience succeeding with both a small startup and big tech companies is well positioned to steer the digital-bank-within-a-bank toward the company’s objectives.
Speaking on Nahar’s hire, Stephanie Cohen, Global Co-Head of Consumer and Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs shared, “What we think he brings is deep engineering and technical expertise. He’s run businesses at scale and he’s taken businesses from nothing to grow them. He’s also done this inside of large companies.” Indeed, his 20 years of experience in technology, financial services, and retail, where he was at the forefront of building some of the most innovative businesses across industries, will be crucial.
Most importantly, Nahar’s startup experience with Uber exemplifies him as a customer-centric leader who can acutely identify and design simple solutions for meeting customer needs - a critical determinant of success for digital businesses. Nahar began his new post on June 1st.