A Continuation of Goldman Sachs and It’s Fintech Platforms

After my presentation last week, I thought it would be a good idea to expand a bit on the other fintech platforms that Goldman Sachs’ is implementing, which I did not get to in my presentation. As I said in my presentation, GS is at the forefront of innovation in this area and are really working towards having a great digital product for all customers to use. With that being said, I will be focusing on their bond sales application and their lending app, both of which are becoming much more important and popular in their digital business.

Marcus

Marcus, named after the founder of Goldman Sachs, is the consumer lending application for the company. Through Marcus, you can take out personal loans and create a savings account, while incurring much lower rates on those loans than other personal loan financiers. This is because the bigger banks (such as Goldman and JP Morgan) can undercut typical loan rates due to their larger influxes of capital and the large amounts they tend to borrow anyway. This has been very popular for banks in general to start to expanding into consumer lending due to regulations in both trading and lending alike.

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Loans Range from $3,500-$40,000 and the online savings accounts have built in saving goal settings for you to customize. This application is also heavily marketing to those with credit card debt. As of December 2017, Marcus had lent out over $2 Billion dollars to consumers and Goldman is anticipating that it will be its fasting growing sector/app, and bring in a substantial amount of revenue ($1 Billion in the next 3 years.) This is on par with their trading operations revenue over a similar time frame, so it’s clearly a sector that will be growing.

SIMON

Simon is built for those selling bonds through Goldman Sachs. SIMON stands for Structured Investment Marketplace and Online Network. It is another online option for clients, rather than calling bond traders and analysts to help them work through complex problems, they can use the app to create and work through tools that can help them analyze risk themselves. Most define the assets that SIMON works with as “structured products,” which are assets that essentially allow traders and customers to have highly customized risk-return objectives for their trade or investment. Before this app, you would have to call a structured products expert and discuss on the phone. Through SIMON, you can analyze and execute trades all on your own.

In my presentation, I showed how this is also integrated into the Marquee platform as a whole, while Marcus is in its own sphere of personal savings and lending. This program will be particularly disruptive to structured products and bond experts, who were previously needed by customers to understand what was even offered to them. Now, they can look, learn, and trade all on their own through the app, cutting out some of the needs for those experts, especially for trades on smaller scales.

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This blog is a bit more technically than my other blogs and this topic was one that I did not know a lot about. I am a marketing major and have no intention of working in finance after graduation, but thought this was an interesting industry to look at with digital disruption, not only because of the traditional, old school nature of the industry but also because money seems to be (obviously) a driving factor for digital change and disruption and banks tend to be at the forefront of that (duh). Goldman has already done big research into crypto currencies and the like so this is an interesting topic to look as as the industry structure changes and shapes the future of work in finance.

 

 

https://qz.com/1077463/goldman-sachs-gs-thinks-its-fintech-lending-arm-marcus-can-make-as-much-extra-revenue-as-trading/
https://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21709316-both-revered-and-reviled-goldman-sachs-struggles-stay-relevant-rebooting

5 comments

  1. I think you did a great job presenting and tying this into it. As someone going into finance, I found it part good, part bad for me. It is good in the sense that technology is going to continue to enhance the workplace capabilities of people working for companies focused on fintech. On the other hand, it seems like there is the potential for AI taking away from jobs like stock brokers, financial advisers, etc. This fear is a reason why I picked up an Information Systems major. I think what Goldman did well was get in on this customer-centric technology first. Even if they did not I think they would be fine because they are a premier bank. As we saw with John Hancock, many banks and financial services companies are realizing AI-driven, easy-to-use customer applications are going to be a key to success going forward. I am interested to see not only what jobs this eliminates, but also what jobs it creates.

    I am also interested to see if these types of applications will expand to larger customers. For example, will they eventually start giving out 6- and 7-figure loans through Marcus? Also, Goldman just hired a crypto trader so I wonder if that as well as the research into crypto you mentioned hint at Goldman slowly pushing their way into the crypto/blockchain space.

  2. Nice followup to a solid presentation.

  3. Grace, this was hands down one of my top 3 presentations in the course. I honestly thought you will be working at Goldman Sachs just because your presentation was so well-rehearsed and informative (maybe you should apply in the future!)

    Regarding the post itself, SIMON shows the direction where S&T (sales and trading) is heading indeed. It just wouldn’t make sense for extensive calls, as the process is quite ineffective given the price of those structured prices move every second. I was actually surprised that this has not been fully spread over every financial institution (correct me if I am wrong) given our tech advancement the past decade, but it just shows an inertia in change in any type of business. What’s fascinating about tech is the ability to provide real solvency to clients/customers for their benefits, not necessarily for the benefit of sellers. Of course, efficiency will be higher with lower operating costs from the seller/provider side, but customers are the end users that will benefit the most from this.

    My overall takeaway, however, is rather gloomy, given that just like @tullyhornebc I aspire to continue my career path in the finance field. I’m sure skillsets like M&A, due diligence, research, or presentation will still require humans & their judgment, but financial advising or trading will suffer a lot from this technology. I also had a summer internship at a bank doing wealth management type of work, and it’s essentially 90% “people-business” where the clients select a financial advisor largely based on his/her personality and character with enough business acumen. The thing is, computers would have a perfect business acumen based on the algorithm they have (except a few error occasions), and the role financial advisor plays will be completely replaced. It’s sad to hear for many aspiring private bankers or financial advisors, but I wonder if they can pivot by learning to handle the platform and advise clients in using it. Unless they adapt to this tech, however, they will fade away eventually as you suggested.

    Sorry for the long comment. But amazing job!

  4. @tullyhornebc asks if AI will start giving 6 or 7 figure loans. I think this is a situation in which the best solution is a combination of human and AI resources. Some people should automatically be approved for loans (think credit score of 850 and lots of assets). Similarly, others should probably be automatically denied (tons of debts and extremely low credit score). However, the middle ground borrowers are the ones who likely would benefit from a creditor having an evaluation process enhanced by AI.

    @graceglambrecht I remember one thing about your presentation that impressed me was the all-encompassing nature of the finance app. The ones I have interacted with simply tell you how much money you have and only have basic evaluation features.SIMON seems like a great step forward to provide an improved user experience

  5. Nice follow up on your presentation. Totally impressed with you showing the finance app. U.S. has developed a mature way to measure the credit score of a person. One can get FICO scores and also scores from two major credit authorities. I think that is a great foundation where a lot of Fintech app rely on. Those scores are trustworthy. Chinese companies are trying to develop those credit scores as well, yet no formal regulations are carried out so far. That is why I was thinking about the big gap while listening to your presentation. Overall, Great job goes to both !

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