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Goldman Sachs’s Hatzius, Wilson to Run Economics After O’Neill

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Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wall Street’s most profitable investment bank, promoted Jan Hatzius and Dominic Wilson to oversee its global economics research division, succeeding Jim O’Neill.

Hatzius, 42, was named chief economist and Wilson chief markets economist, according to an internal memo dated Jan. 12 and obtained by Bloomberg News. Both will run economics, commodities and strategies research in the Americas, with Jeff Currie and Peter Oppenheimer responsible for Europe, according to the memo from Steven H. Strongin, global head of investment research. Sophie Bullock, a London-based spokeswoman for the bank, declined to comment.

The promotions split up the responsibilities of O’Neill, who served as head of global economics, commodities and strategy research until becoming chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management at the end of last year. O’Neill, 53, is best known for devising the term “BRIC” to describe the growing economic power of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Goldman Sachs economists are becoming more optimistic about the outlook for the U.S. economy and said in a report this month that 2011 will be “the year of recovery” globally. They predict the world’s largest economy will expand 3.4 percent this year after growing 2.8 percent in 2010, and that the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will rally to 1,500 from 1,293 at the end of last week.

“People continue to underestimate just how powerful the world economy is,” O’Neill told a conference in London today.

Kathy Matsui and Tim Moe will become co-heads of economics, commodities and strategy research in Asia. Oppenheimer will become chief global equity strategist, the memo said.

Hatzius became chief U.S. economist in 2005 after joining the bank in 1997 in Frankfurt. He moved to New York two years later. Wilson joined Goldman Sachs in 2000 in Hong Kong and then transferred to New York as a global economist. Both studied at Oxford University and became managing directors in 2004.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Kennedy in London at skennedy4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net