So, Lloyd Blankfein
likes asset management.
That's perhaps not a stretch, given the fact that the chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs
], as well as two-time Harvard
grad, gave a lively talk at the ICI GMM
Conference during a luncheon sponsored by JP Morgan
. ICI president and chief executive Paul Schott Stevens
served as his counterpoint during the conversation.
(At one point, Blankfein quipped "Don't tell Jamie I'm eating his lunch!")
However, it was interesting to note the amount of interest he expressed in the area of asset management.
"Asset management has the advantage of being something where the business can still grow," he said at one point during the chat, noting that "In asset management, there are successful asset managers that are four times our size."
Of course, Blankfein said, Goldman was looking to grow in all of the businesses in which it operates. However, since Goldman is already tops in investment banking, it can't expect to have the same kind of growth as it would in areas like asset management, where at roughly $740 billion in AUM it is respectable but still dwarfed by the likes of BlackRock
and State Street
to name a few.
"Growth and pooling of capital. It is a big opportunity for us that gets a high percentage of our board's attention," he said, adding that the company was devoting a lot of thought power to "make sure we do it in the right kind of way."
Of course, the conversation touched on a number of other subjects, such as the state of the U.S. economy, the growth and opportunities in China's economy, and the struggles the financial industry still faces with regards to regaining investor confidence.
Nonetheless, with regards to Goldman's appetite for asset management play, fundsters should take notice.
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