Goldman Sachs Bolsters Quant Team, Hires Turok From BlackRock

  • Group is one of fastest-growing in investment-management unit
  • Assets in group doubled to $80 billion in past five years

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is bolstering a team of strategists who help develop products for institutions and wealthy clients based on computer-learning technology, one of the fastest growing units in the investment-management division.

BlackRock Inc.’s Michael Turok will join Goldman Sachs later this year to lead a team of two dozen quantitative-investment strategists, according to an Aug. 2 memo obtained by Bloomberg. Turok, who’s returning to Goldman Sachs after six years away, will focus on improving the company’s ability to comb through data, process natural language and develop other machine-learning approaches.

Assets at the so-called quant group have doubled to more than $80 billion in the past five years, a rate of growth matched only by the firm’s advisory and insurance business, according to Gary Chropuvka, a partner in the quantitative-investment strategies team. The investment-management business added $53 billion in long-term assets under supervision last year, not counting acquisitions or market fluctuations, to outpace most of the firm’s peers. It oversees about $1.3 trillion.

“This is the future of investing,” Chropuvka said in an interview. “More and more companies are hiring people with quant skill sets. The ability to capitalize on these data-driven insights will continue to be a bigger differentiator.”

Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein has promoted the investment-management group as an attractive source of steady revenue as investment banking suffers under intense regulatory pressure, reduced client trading and changes in market structure.

Hedge funds and large money managers are also increasingly turning to quantitative strategies to boost results. Paul Tudor Jones is accelerating a high-tech revamp at his Tudor Investment Corp., and Point72 Asset Management’s Steve Cohen is committing as much as $250 million to be managed by an online platform where members build computerized trading models and earn a share of profits.

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