Ex-Goldman veteran Marty Chavez: Virus will speed up tech takeover of Wall Street

Ex-Goldman veteran Marty Chavez: Virus will speed up tech takeover of Wall Street
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The star exec, Latino and openly gay, was the architect of Goldman’s shift to trading technology

The coronavirus crisis has sped up the march of the robots on Wall Street, according to Marty Chavez, the former Goldman Sachs finance boss and architect of the US banking giant’s move to automate large parts of its trading floor.

The 56-year-old banking veteran told Financial News that technology jobs, which currently make up about a third of roles at his former employer, will soon take up about half of the jobs across Wall Street’s giants.

Chavez, who led Goldman’s efforts to transform itself into the “Google of Wall Street”, said “there’s a lot further to go” on automation in banking, adding that the pandemic has sped up executives’ moves to digitise their businesses.

“Covid is absolutely making things happen faster, but they were happening anyway,” he said.

Chavez was recently appointed to Spanish bank Santander’s board to advise on its digital overhaul. In 2014, he led Goldman’s efforts to transform the bank’s trading business, growing the proportion of tech workers among its 33,000-strong workforce.

Other banks have since followed suit. At JPMorgan, which spends around $12bn annually on tech, 16,000 of its 61,000 corporate and investment banking staff work in IT functions.

Former Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein was prone to calling his firm a “technology company”. The US lender spent years building out its “strats” unit — a division comprised of quantitative science workers, as well as those who specialise in data management and analytics, including machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), programme management and digital product design.

Source: Financial News

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