Richard Gnodde has long been loyal to his employer. The 55-year-old South African banker has spent 28 years with U.S. investment house Goldman Sachs, among other things helping to build up its operations in Germany and Europe in the 1990s.
Now, Mr. Gnodde is one of three leaders of Goldman Sachs’ consulting business. Together with Michael Scherwood out of London, he also leads the European, Middle East and African business of Goldman Sachs International.
Mr. Gnodde spoke to Handelsblatt on a recent trip to Frankfurt, where he planned later that evening to celebrate the bank’s 25-year anniversary in Germany.
With many investment banks like Deutsche Bank pulling back, Mr. Gnodde spoke of Goldman’s plans to attack its rivals in their home market. Despite the competition, he sees “huge potential” in private banking and asset management in Germany. The bank may even jump into consumer credit in Europe in the coming years.
Mr. Gnodde, your rival Deutsche Bank recently significantly wrote down the value of Investment Bankers Trust, the U.S. bank they purchased 16 years ago. Is Goldman’s core business – investment banking – worth less today than it was back then?
No. Nevertheless, the tougher regulations in the wake of the financial crisis have forced banks to increase their capital reserves, keep more liquidity on hand and generally reduce their balance sheets. We implemented these new requirements as quickly as possible and attempted to be able to remain focused on our clients as much as possible.
The perception outside of Goldman is often different: People tend to think Goldman puts their own interests ahead of customers.