Goldman Said to Name Consumer Arm ‘Marcus’ After Founder

  • Name is homage to Marcus Goldman, who started firm in 1869
  • Firm plans to begin offering consumer loans later this year

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to name its online consumer-lending operation "Marcus by Goldman Sachs" after the company’s founder, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.

The name is an homage to Marcus Goldman, a German immigrant who founded the firm in 1869, the person said, asking for anonymity to discuss the decision before it’s made public. The company has registered the domain name www.marcus.com, according to internet records. The New York Times reported the name late Thursday.

The bank will make unsecured loans to consumers with strong credit histories for purposes such as debt consolidation, the person said. Loans may be bigger or smaller than the $15,000 to $20,000 typical of online consumer loans such as those popularized by LendingClub Corp.

Goldman Sachs last year hired Harit Talwar, head of the U.S. cards division of Discover Financial Services, to help develop the business. Since then, it’s offered few details about what it would look like, or who the target market is. The initiative, which has been referred to internally as Mosaic, is expected to be unveiled later this year, most likely in October, the person said.

It’s not clear how closely the lending operation will work with the firm’s new deposit-taking venture, which began this year after the purchase of General Electric Co.’s online bank added more than $16 billion in deposits. Goldman Sachs changed from a securities firm to a bank holding company after the financial crisis and together the two projects represent one of the most-watched strategy shifts in recent memory at what was once Wall Street’s most profitable firm.

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