Goldman poaches ex-McKinsey boss to bolster Asia business

Goldman Sachs has named Kevin Sneader to help run its operations in Asia, months after he was voted out as the leader of consulting firm McKinsey.

Sneader will serve as co-president of the Asia business, excluding Japan, alongside Todd Leland, Goldman said Wednesday. He will also join the firm’s management committee and will relocate to Hong Kong for the job.

The pair is charged with growing the Wall Street firm’s client base in the region, where Goldman has outlined ambitious expansion plans. Chinese regulators in May approved Goldman’s plan to build a wealth-management venture in the country with one of its largest banks, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

The Asia Pacific region accounted for about $6.2bn, or 14%, of the bank’s revenue in 2020. About 9% of Goldman’s corporate loans last year were issued to businesses in the region.

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Sneader spent 32 years at McKinsey, his final three as global managing partner. In February, partners at the consulting firm voted to replace him — a move seen as a rebuke of his management of a string of scandals involving McKinsey and their ensuing legal settlements. It was the first time in decades a McKinsey leader hadn’t won a second term.

Some partners chafed at Sneader’s efforts to move McKinsey away from a culture in which partners were given wide latitude over their work and clients to a more rule-bound, process-oriented one, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.

Goldman, too, is a partnership — a vestige of the 130 years it spent as a private company before its 1999 initial public offering. The autonomy that has afforded top employees has contributed to some big missteps, particularly in Asia.

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The bank last year admitted wrongdoing and agreed to pay billions of dollars to global regulators to end a yearslong investigation into its dealings with a Malaysian investment fund at the heart of a global bribery ring.

Two Goldman partners were criminally charged in the scandal. Prosecutors alleged that senior executives at the bank, enamored by the fees that poured in from the 1MDB investment fund, ignored warning signs of fraud.

Write to Orla McCaffrey at [email protected]

This article was published by Dow Jones Newswires

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