Goldman Sachs Asset Management Names Co-Head of Public Investing Group

Along with other changes, GSAM announced Tuesday that Greg Calnon will lead the $2.4 trillion business with Ashish Shah.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Three months after naming a new head of its fixed-income unit, more leadership changes are happening at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Greg Calnon, the global head of multi-asset solutions, was named co-head of the $2.4 trillion public investing business alongside Ashish Shah. Marc Nachmann, the global head of the asset and wealth management group, and Julian Salisbury, chief investment officer of asset and wealth management, announced the appointment in a memo to employees Tuesday afternoon. Shah will continue to serve as chief investment officer of public investing.

Goldman’s asset and wealth management group has $2.67 trillion under its supervision and now includes one of the largest alternative investments businesses.

In the note to employees, Nachmann and Salisbury highlighted the unit’s success, pointing out that 73 percent of the manager’s public investing assets are ranked in the top half of their peer group by Morningstar on a five-year basis. Assets under the group’s supervision have grown as a result of the firm capitalizing on new investment opportunities and giving quality, tailored advice to clients, the executives added.

Choosing Calnon, who has worked at Goldman Sachs for 22 years and previously led the outsourced chief investment officer business, to co-head the public investing unit is a sign that the bank is still investing in it, Salisbury said in an interview. Shah was previously the only top leader of the GSAM unit.

“Sometimes people like to focus on turnover or departures, but we always have a strong bench of very tenured, very credible leaders,” Salisbury said. He added that Calnon is an “incredible culture-carrier who has run a very successful business in MAS, where he has recruited and retained high levels of talent and delivered very strong investment performance.”

Without other strong leaders in MAS, the asset manager wouldn’t have been able to move Calnon to a new position, Salisbury said.

The bank also announced on Tuesday that Tim Braude, head of the $210 billion OCIO business within MAS and the group’s lead portfolio manager for institutional clients, and Valentijn van Nieuwenhuijzen, the chief strategist, head of multi-asset and chief investment officer at NN Investment Partners, will become the new co-heads of Goldman’s multi-asset class solutions business. Both will report to Calnon and Shah.

Valentijn also will continue to serve as head of the sustainable investment and innovation platform and focus on ESG investing in public markets.

Sustainability is a factor that pension funds and other institutional investors consider when choosing an OCIO, Salisbury said.

“If I’m a pension plan, and I’m looking to outsource, I want to bring on board a manager who has a breadth of experience across asset classes, over many cycles. And sustainability would obviously be one of those capabilities it would generally be looking for in a manager,” he said. “It certainly enhanced our credentials as a manager. But I would say it’s one of the factors versus the key driving factor.”

More investors are interested in outsourcing the management of their investments and that trend is going to progress in the future, according to Salisbury.

Pensions that are nearly fully funded, or overfunded, sometimes start considering a couple of options: a potential buyout of the pension liability through an insurance company; or de-risking with a more bond-focused portfolio that “you don’t need as big and as complex an organization to do,” Salisbury said. At that point, organizations begin to consider an OCIO and Goldman likes its chances of winning the business with its new leaders.

“We’re very strongly positioned to be able to help them with that migration, given our own capabilities in-house around alternative investments, but also our ability to invest in third-party managers as well,” Salisbury said.