JPMorgan Chase has hired Elisabeth Kozack, the head of point-of-sale financing at Goldman’s consumer bank, to become head of alternative lending on the consumer side of the nation’s largest bank, Business Insider reported Monday.
That makes Kozack the fourth Marcus-connected managing director to join JPMorgan in the past year. It also throws a spotlight on a potential vulnerability in Goldman’s talent retention strategy.
The bank in January announced it is giving one-time stock awards to its approximately 400 partners. The move, presumably meant as a token to keep executives from jumping to Goldman’s competitors, mimics a perk the bank gave CEO David Solomon and President John Waldron in October.
Goldman may have posted record revenue last year, but it has to draw a cutoff line for special awards somewhere. And that could leave managing directors — the level directly below partner — susceptible to job-hopping.
Kozack left Marcus after more than six years — first as vice president of lending, then climbing to co-head of consumer and small-business lending and head of consumer lending before starting the point-of-sale role in July, according to her LinkedIn profile. Before joining Goldman, Kozack spent nine years at American Express.
Kozack follows three other recent Marcus managing directors to JPMorgan.
Sonali Divilek left the bank in July, announcing her departure just three months after taking a promotion to head of product at Marcus. In that time, however, she oversaw the launch of Marcus Invest, the digital bank’s robo-adviser.
Another key catalyst in Marcus Invest’s launch, Andrea Finan — an 18-year Goldman veteran — left the bank’s consumer wealth management division in October to become a managing director at JPMorgan Chase.
Goldman downplayed two high-profile exits last year — when Marcus’ chief executive and head of large partnerships left for Walmart’s fintech startup.
"Our business has serious momentum and a deep and growing bench of talent," Andrew Williams, a Goldman spokesperson, said at the time. And indeed, the bank plumbed that bench to fill a bevy of vacant roles.
The bank more recently drew focus to its remaining executives when asked about Kozack’s departure.
"We are very excited about the future of the consumer business along with the incredible leadership team we have in place with Peeyush Nahar, Swati Bhatia, Brian King, Liz Martin and Ilya Gaysinskiy," a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs told Business Insider. "They build on the consumer banking and technology experience of our over 60 managing directors across the business who are helping to guide the next phase of our growth as we continue to help millions of consumers achieve their financial goals.”
Last year’s spate of departures was preceded by an aggressive product rollout schedule that included the launch of the Marcus app, checking accounts, the Insights personal finance management tool, Marcus Invest, and work to transition GM’s credit-card portfolio.
However, March is a popular time for banking executives to collect their year-end bonuses, reevaluate their prospects and, in some cases, jump.
Goldman is far from the only bank to see turnover this month. The two executives slated to lead Citi’s digital-assets group said in recent weeks they would leave to start their own crypto venture. Citi’s head of equities trading for the North American market, too, is leaving to start an investment fund focused on fintech companies.
A JPMorgan spokesperson declined to comment to Business Insider about the bank’s new hires other than to confirm Kozack’s title.
As it stands, banks could see double the churn this year that they would otherwise, recruiters told Reuters. That estimate encompasses those who waited to switch jobs until a lull in the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who may feel some burnout from the surge in deal activity last year.
"We have been telling our clients for over a year now that they would have a 'double year' in 2022 in terms of turnover," said Alan Johnson, managing director of the consultancy Johnson Associates. "You're getting two years' worth of people who wanted to quit.”