Goldman To Shutter Prop. Desk

Sep 7 2010 | 8:30am ET

Goldman Sachs’ proprietary trading business—the cradle of many of the world’s most successful hedge fund managers—will close to comply with new U.S. financial regulations, but not before spawning another hedge fund or two.

Goldman Sachs headquarters, TribecaGoldman Sachs headquarters, TribecaNew York-based Goldman has decided to shut down its Principal Strategies group, which accounts for some 10% of its annual revenue, following the enactment of the Volcker rule, which bars banks from proprietary trading. Firms have up to four years to comply, and Goldman will hold off on announcing the closure to give the roughly 70 members of its team time to find new jobs.

Some of those traders will undoubtedly remain with Goldman. Some others—members of the Asia team—are likely to join a hedge fund founded by Morgan Sze, the head of Goldman’s Asia prop. desk. The New York-based prop. traders are in talks to join an asset management firm, Bloomberg News reports.

Early reports indicated that Goldman might spin-off the Principal Strategies division as a hedge fund, although it appears that was never a serious option. Plans to spin-off Sze’s Asia team as a separate hedge fund also went nowhere.

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