Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which makes the most from equity trading of all Wall Street banks, is losing the head of a unit that invests in securities exchanges and two senior executives from its London equities division.
Phillip Hylander, 42, who leads the Principal Strategic Investment Group, will step down at the end of the year, according to a Dec. 8 memorandum sent to employees and obtained by Bloomberg News. He will become an advisory director to the firm on retirement, according to the document.
Matthew H. Cyzer, head of sales trading in Europe, and John A. Ashdown, 42, head of trading in the region, are retiring, said a person with knowledge of the matter who declined to be identified because the departures haven’t been publicly announced. Cyzer and Hylander joined Goldman Sachs from Deutsche Bank AG in 2002. While Hylander joined the firm as a partner, the New York-based firm’s highest rank, Cyzer and Ashdown were promoted to the position in 2004.
“These guys have been doing it for a while, they’ve had enough time to raise and grow people beneath them,” said Jason Kennedy, chief executive officer of Kennedy Group, a London-based executive search firm. “Those who have made enough to retire like Hylander and Ashdown are seeing a good reason to step down.”
Goldman Sachs’s revenue from equities sales and trading dropped 32 percent to $5.43 billion in the first nine months of this year, in part because the firm lost money in the second quarter on a bet that stock-market volatility would drop. The firm this year also shut down a proprietary-trading division within equities, called principal strategies, in response to U.S. legislation that prohibits banks from making such bets with their own money.
Equities revenue at the largest eight Wall Street firms dropped an average of 12 percent so far this year, meaning that pay is likely to suffer and hiring plans have been frozen, according to Kennedy.
“We’re very similar to 2008 this year on the equities side,” Kennedy said. “Nobody has budgets for next year.”
Ashdown and Hylander weren’t immediately available to comment. Cyzer declined to comment. Sophie Bullock, a spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs in London, declined to comment.
Ashdown’s formal title was head of One Delta Trading for Equities, Europe, while Cyzer was co-head of One Delta Execution Services in Europe. One Delta is the name of Goldman Sachs’s equities division, which excludes derivatives.
Hylander, who joined as co-head of pan-European shares, became head of One Delta as well as co-head of European equities in 2006 before switching to his current role a year later. The Principal Strategic Investment Group employs about 20 people around the world, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Successors for Hylander, Cyzer and Ashdown weren’t named. The bank said in a July memo that Brian Levine would move to London from New York in his role of co-chief operating officer of Equities One Delta Trading.
The two memos were signed by David B. Heller, Edward K. Eisler, Pablo J. Salame, and Harvey M. Schwartz, the firm’s four co-heads of securities sales and trading.