Goldman Sachs Names Stephanie Cohen as Head of Strategy

By Liz Hoffman Features Dow Jones Newswires

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is naming a new head of strategy as it looks to incubate new businesses and find different sources of revenue to replace trading revenue that's unlikely to return in force.

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Stephanie Cohen, a merger banker who has spent the past few years doing deals for private-equity firms and other big investors, will replace Stephen Scherr, who has held the role since 2014, according to a firmwide memo.

Mr. Scherr will focus full-time on running Goldman's nascent consumer and commercial banking division, where he now oversees a few hundred employees.

Ms. Cohen, a fast riser in Goldman's investment bank, will move to the 41st floor and help Goldman implement a $5 billion growth plan it laid out earlier this fall.

According to the memo, "Stephanie will work across the firm to develop and help drive important opportunities to grow our client franchise including the growth initiatives we have outlined" in a September presentation that cast lending and a fixed-income trading reboot as key to reclaiming lost revenue.

The move makes Ms. Cohen one of the highest-ranking women at Goldman, especially with the departure of Edith Cooper, head of human resources. The firm has been trying to promote more women. Its partnership class in 2016 was a record 23% female, and the group of managing directors set to be announced next week will be a test of its ability to improve the pipeline of women in its higher ranks.

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A Goldman lifer, Ms. Cohen joined the firm's M&A department in 1999 and came up doing deals for industrial companies. She made partner in 2014, and a year later was named to a new role running M&A for private-equity firms. That group over the past year or so has broadened its focus to better cover emerging pots of investment capital like sovereign-wealth funds and family offices.

The strategy role at Goldman has had varying levels of importance over the years. Mr. Scherr made the most of the seat, spinning Goldman's postcrisis embrace of plain-vanilla banking into a collection of businesses whose revenue and profile within the firm is growing.

Write to Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 06, 2017 16:47 ET (21:47 GMT)