Wes Analyst, Insurance Asset Management Investment Management Division, New York
Hometown: Anaheim, CA
Undergrad: Howard University, Washington D.C.
Joined GS: Interned 2013; Full-time 2014
Hobbies: Basketball, Mentoring, Traveling
Analysts are given a great deal of early responsibility once they prove they are ready, which is part of the apprenticeship culture of the firm.
I grew up in southern California and studied finance at Howard University in Washington, D.C. During the winter people often ask me why I made the jump from the west coast to the east. For me, being in New York and working in the financial industry is an incredibly dynamic experience (worth the cold!). Also, I think being in finance in New York gives you the opportunity to surround yourself with a caliber of people right out of college that is unparalleled. It’s a great place to start a career.
I had the opportunity to meet Goldman Sachs recruiters and former Howard alumni during my freshman year. Goldman Sachs sponsors an honors program at Howard to provide students with an opportunity to participate on case study teams and interact with a number of professionals. I participated in information sessions and learned about experiences across all aspects of the firm—it was impactful for me.
I interned during the summer of 2013 in the Investment Management Division (IMD) within Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) on the Americas Institutional sales team and had the opportunity to rotate between the Public Pensions team and the Insurance Asset Management team. Following my internship, I was offered and accepted a full-time position on the global Insurance Asset Management team.
Currently, I’m an analyst and a relationship manager on the Insurance Asset Management team within GSAM, which is a strategic business within the division that is dedicated to covering the insurance client base. For our insurance company clients, we provide an array of services across a broad range of asset classes, ranging from portfolio management to asset/liability management, to accounting advisory. I’m responsible for supporting one of our US relationship management teams with prospecting—new business development efforts—as well as with managing our existing client relationships. A large part of my role consists of coordinating with key stakeholders across the division and firm as a whole including Portfolio Managers, Product Managers, Legal, Technology, Operations and Compliance in an effort to deliver solutions for our clients and prospects. My team is ultimately designed to act as an extension of our clients within the firm.
What drew me to my team within IMD was the opportunity to balance both IQ and EQ, and the opportunity to act in a multi-faceted function daily. Within IMD there are career opportunities that are client solutions-focused and those that are investment strategies-focused. On the investment strategy side, you have the opportunity to really drill down in a market and build a technical foundation. On the client solutions side, which is where I sit, I’ve had the opportunity to touch all aspects of our business—each day there’s a completely new challenge. I spend time conducting prospecting research, looking at our client base, analyzing changes in asset allocation over time—looking for shifts and trends. I also work with our portfolio managers to be proactive in engaging our clients—whether that is through putting together thought leadership pieces or working with our fixed income team to coordinate market update discussions— ultimately attempting to anticipate what our clients need. In my experience, analysts are given a great deal of early responsibility once they prove they are ready, which is part of the apprenticeship culture of the firm.
We have a three-year analyst training program with the Investment Management Division. When you first join the firm, you have six weeks of training, which provides a broad and deep perspective of the division for analysts before you even hit the desk. Although I belong to a relationship management team, I have had the opportunity to learn about areas of the business and various markets that I wouldn’t necessarily encounter in my day-to-day. The program is designed to help you develop a knowledge base and build a foundation within the firm and have the opportunity to form relationships among peers and senior professionals. We have ongoing training throughout the year and multiple in-person regroups throughout the year where they bring together the entire global (analyst) class. So you get the opportunity to build a global network, and I’ve seen how that plays out both informally and formally in the job by having colleagues who I can call for advice and support.
I’ve also had the opportunity to participate in the Firmwide Black Network, which was extremely impactful as I transitioned to the firm right out of college. The network has provided me with the opportunity to connect with both junior and senior level professionals as informal mentors, and to attend a number of events the network hosts throughout the year. Now that I’ve been at the firm for a couple years, I’m able to return the favor by helping those who have joined more recently.
I play on one of the Goldman Sachs basketball teams once a week. I had the opportunity to captain the team, which was a great opportunity to meet people in the firm who I would not have otherwise engaged with during my day-to-day. I play small forward and shooting guard. There’s a lot of athletic talent here at the firm—recently I had to guard a player on the other Goldman team who competed in the NCAA tournament. We did pretty well; it was an experience!