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Another departing Goldman Sachs veteran on why the bank is losing top women: ‘The Street wants to cultivate and access this amazing talent’

Courtesy of Goldman Sachs

Anne Marie Darling, a longtime Goldman Sachs executive, is leaving the investment bank after 25 years but will move into an advisory director role, effective today.

Darling has helped build and scale several businesses at Goldman. She launched the global multi-asset platform sales team in 2014, which she continued to lead, and helped build the digital distribution effort for Marquee, the bank’s digital platform for institutional and corporate clients, according to an internal memo viewed by Fortune. She was responsible for the bank’s global FICC execution services business and the market structure and partnership teams. Previously, Darling was COO of Goldman’s global securities division sales.

“Please join us in thanking Anne Marie for her dedication and outstanding contributions to the firm, our clients, and our people, and in wishing her and her family the very best in the years ahead. We look forward to benefiting from her continued counsel as an advisory director,” Ashok Varadhan and Dan Dees, coheads of global banking and markets, wrote in the memo.

Goldman wasn’t Darling’s first job. After graduating from Brown University with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering, she spent six years at the American Stock Exchange, where she worked on the trading floor.


“I loved the markets,” Darling said. This was the 1990s, and many firms had yet to fully transition to technology. “I came from AMEX, where many things were traded on the floor with hand signals.” She joined Goldman in 1999, just months after it went public, beginning as a senior analyst in its electronic trading group.

Darling was promoted to managing director in 2007 and five years later made partner. She remembered that day in 2012 when she got the call from Gary Cohn, Goldman’s president and COO, telling her she’d made it—she was part of Goldman’s class of 70 partners that year. “When I saw Gary’s name come up on the phone … it was a great call, and I was beyond ecstatic,” she told Fortune.

Darling, who is retiring from Goldman, is now preparing for her next act. She’s held discussions with a handful of clients in the alternative asset management space, including hedge funds and private equity firms, as well as technology companies that could benefit from her unique skill set, Fortune has learned.

“[Goldman] has provided me with tremendous opportunities in my career,” Darling said. “It’s been an amazing experience.”

Exodus continues

Now, a dozen years later, Darling is one of several high-profile Goldman partners departing. Philip Berlinski, most recently global treasurer and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Bank USA, is exiting Goldman after more than 25 years, while Jim Esposito, cohead of banking and markets, is leaving after nearly 30 years. Julian Salisbury, also a longtime Goldman executive and most recently CIO of asset and wealth management, joined Sixth Street as a partner and co-CIO. (To replace Berlinski, Goldman last week promoted Carey Halio, who’s spent more than two decades at the firm, to take over as global treasurer.)

Goldman has recently faced scrutiny for its lack of women among the firm’s senior ranks. David Solomon, when he took charge of Goldman in late 2018, claimed that promoting women into senior roles was a priority. But a Wall Street Journal report found that roughly two-thirds of Goldman’s female partners at the end of 2018 had either departed or no longer have that title. Stephanie Cohen, once one of the most powerful women at Goldman, left in March and is currently chief strategy officer of Cloudflare. There’s also Beth Hammack, cohead of the global financing group, who’s retiring after more than 30 years at the bank.

Goldman is a breeding ground for top talent, so it’s natural that they’d get great offers from elsewhere, Darling said. Goldman is “losing senior women because the Street wants to cultivate and access this amazing talent,” she added. “As leadership has said, we also need to lean in and continue to do more to elevate women to the highest levels of the firm.”

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