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Goldman Sachs Bankers to Join Fintech Venture by Wallmart

Omer Ismail, the head of Goldman Sachs‘ consumer finance division, and David Stark, one of its top executives, are leaving to join a fintech start-up backed by Ribbit Capital and Walmart.  These hirings are a big step that represents the second most prominent effort by the world’s largest retailer to enter the financial services. Under pressure from regulators, it abandoned its plan to start a bank a decade ago.

There is very little information about the start-up that Walmart and Ribbit have declared. They have said that the start-up would “deliver tech-driven financial experiences tailored to Walmart’s customers and associates.” The retailer will be the firm’s majority owner, and growth will come through partnerships and acquisitions.

Less than six months ago, Ismail was tapped to lead Goldman Sach’s consumer division, Marcus. He was to take over from the founding chief Harit Talwar. Ismail has been at Goldman since 2002 and is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School.

Stark is a Goldman partner who is with Marcus since its founding for almost five years. He was also responsible for the establishment of a credit-card partnership with Apple.

Marcus generated a revenue of almost $1.2 billion in 2020, 40% more than that of 2019. It had outstanding loans worth $8 billion at year-end. Ribbit Capital is a significant backer of Robinhood. More than $500 million in convertible debt financing was provided by Ribbit.

In a statement, Goldman Sachs said, “Marcus has serious momentum and a deep and growing bench of talent. We wish these two well.”

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