It’s called “Honest Conversations.”
A financial advisor walks a client through a series of probing multiple choice questions about values. The point of the goal-identification exercise is for clients to discover their “Money Mind.” The process is — according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. — “the first step in leading the life you want.”
When Goldman bought registered investment advisor United Capital in 2019 for $750 million it was a clear sign of the bank’s intentions of broadening revenue beyond the traditional pillars of trading and dealmaking.
While stock trading helped the bank achieve its highest quarterly profit in a decade last quarter, executives warned in a call with analysts the boom times may not last.
Meanwhile, revenue at its consumer and wealth-management division, with its comparatively steady fee-based cash flow, was up 15% from the year before.
While Goldman already offered wealth-management services to ultra-high-net-worth folks, the purchase of United, which was founded in 2005 by Spanish-born, Zimbabwe-raised entrepreneur Joe Duran, gave it an instant footprint in the so-called mass affluent market.
Mostly made up of Main Streeters, it was a crowd to whom the name Goldman Sachs risked dredging up memories of the 2008 financial crisis, an association the bank is actively trying to dispel as it pushes further into the consciousness of everyday Americans.
Its consumer arm, Marcus, sells loans, savings accounts and credit cards and plans to start offering checking accounts later this year.
Now re-branded Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management, the former United has a network of 358 advisors overseeing 21,900 clients, according to Investor.com.
On average, those clients entrust them with $1.3 million, giving the division total assets under management of about $27.6 billion.
It also has FinLife, a digital client-management system it sells to registered investment advisors. At the time of Goldman’s purchase, United had 220 advisors and $25 billion in assets.