The Goldman Sachs tech MD who's become an icon
Every division has its hero. Just as Goldman Sachs' traders have looked to Kunal Shah for guidance on how to progress within the firm before they get too old, so Goldman's technologists have their own hero who has so far kept a low profile.
What makes him special? Firstly, his age. In an industry where technologists have traditionally had to work for years before becoming a managing director, James made MD aged around 30 after graduating from London's Imperial College in 2011. That's not bad given that it took the average person 18 years to make MD in a bank last time we looked.
Secondly, his position on Marquee. The Marquee platform, which makes Goldman's SecDB risk and pricing database directly accessible to clients is crucial to Goldman's plans for its future. James helps manage Marquee's engineering team and has worked on the platform since 2013 when he moved from London to New York City. Marquee is expanding - Goldman is currently advertising 34 roles on the platform, many of them for engineers, and last summer indicated its intention of hiring up to 100 new coders to add to the Marquee team. Following this month's suprise departure of Adam Korn, who championed the development of Marquee over an 18 year career at Goldman Sachs, James has quietly become more significant internally.
Rich James isn't the only MD level engineer on Goldman's Marquee team. Senior colleagues include Scott Weinstein, who joined Goldman in 2013 from Lab49. Weinstein is an engineering veteran who began his career at Sapient in 1996 and worked for Lazard, Credit Suisse and Citi before joining Goldman. Weinstein is proof that you can access the top technology jobs at Goldman 17 years into a career that's evolved outside the firm. James is proof that you can join Goldman straight after graduating with a bachelors degree and be running one of the top teams as an MD less than a decade later. It's unsurprising that 20-something developers look to him for inspiration.
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