Two Goldman Sachs trading execs leaving: memos

Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:57pm EST
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By David Henry and Jed Horowitz

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group said Wednesday that two high-ranking leaders of its trading business have left the firm as Wall Street executives come under more pressure to cut costs and put less of their money at risk in trades.

David B. Heller and Edward K. Eisler, two of four co-heads of securities trading at Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N: Quote), decided to retire, according to internal memos sent. Heller, based in New York, has been with Goldman for 22 years and Eisler, based in London, for 18 years.

While financial companies worldwide have announced plans to lay off more than 100,000 people in recent months, the Goldman departures still came as a surprise. Goldman has given notice to about 1,000 people, including some of its partners.

Both men will continue with the firm as non-employee advisers, according to spokesman Michael DuVally.

Investment banks are facing near-term and long-term trading issues that have dispirited many professionals. Profits in recent quarters have been trimmed by volatile world markets while impending regulations known as the Volcker Rule are forcing banks to close their proprietary trading units that have long fueled strong profits.

Wall Street firms also are cutting jobs and compensation for top executives who oversee units where revenues are falling.

Goldman last year closed two proprietary trading desks that were part of the securities division in anticipation of the new regulations.

Heller, who was based in New York, is a long-time equities trader while London-based Eisler specialized in global interest rate products.   Continued...