Goldman’s consumer chief Ismail Makes shock exit for Walmart
Omer Ismail, the architect of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s foray into consumer banking, is leaving to join Walmart, a stunning setback for the investment bank’s plans to go beyond its traditional strengths.Ismail is departing to lead the retailer’s fintech venture, according to people with knowledge of his plans.
David Stark, one of his top lieutenants at Goldman will join him, the people said, asking not to be identified as the moves haven’t been announced.
A spokesman for Goldman declined to comment. Walmart didn’t immediately respond to calls seeking comment
Goldman had just entrusted Ismail and Stark with bigger roles. Ismail formally assumed control of the consumer arm -- known as Marcus -- at the beginning of the year. But he’s been tied to it ever since Goldman’s merchant bank set up the side project several years ago.
Ismail helped formulate the plan for Marcus, the biggest strategy refresh the firm has seen in three decades. The company ultimately resolved to make itself a serious force in digital banking.
Stark, a fellow partner at the firm, played a key role in Goldman’s partnership with Apple Inc. on a credit card, for which the bank provides the financial backbone. Weeks ago, Goldman named Stark as the head of large partnerships. That’s a key peg for Marcus’s growth, which has already struck deals with the likes of Amazon, Walmart and JetBlue.