Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management Review - MagnifyMoney
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Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management Review

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The private wealth arm of financial services giant Goldman Sachs focuses on providing investment advisory and wealth management services to high net worth individuals, as well as to certain endowments and foundations. As a dually registered broker-dealer, Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management also offers brokerage services for clients who prefer to manage their own accounts.

The bottom line: This firm is an arm of Goldman Sachs that focuses on portfolio and wealth management services for individual and institutional investors.

  • Works mostly with ultra-high net worth investors
  • Provides a large variety of investment options, including proprietary funds
  • Offers private banking services
Assets under management (AUM): $98,425,779,435
Minimum investment: Generally $10 million
Individual investor to advisor ratio: N/A
Fee structure: Typically a percentage of AUM for advisory clients
Headquarters: 200 West Street, New York, NY 10282
Phone: 877-465-3626

All information included in this profile is accurate as of October 28, 2021. For more information, please consult Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management’s website.

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Overview of Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management

Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management is a group within Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC that primarily works with high net worth individuals and institutional investors. Goldman Sachs & Co. is in turn owned by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a publicly traded company that was originally founded in 1869. Goldman Sachs & Co. has been registered as an investment advisor since 1981.

Alongside its investment advisory services, the firm also offers brokerage account services.

Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management’s pros

  • Personalized services: It’s possible to get a truly tailored approach to wealth management at this firm, with a variety of investment strategies available to investors.
  • Potential one-stop shop for clients: As part of the much larger Goldman Sachs, the firm offers a wide selection of services, making it a potential one-stop shop. For example, in addition to personalized investment help and wealth management and family office services, there are also private banking services from Goldman that offer help with cash management.
  • No performance-based fees: There are no performance-based fees at the advisory account level. This fee type can introduce additional risk to a portfolio, as an advisor may be incentivized to take greater risks in order to hit certain benchmarks and thus earn the additional compensation.

Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management’s cons

  • Account minimum might be out of reach: The firmis mostly a service for ultra-high net worth clients that have at least $10 million to invest. This will leave out the majority of investors, although some may be able to open accounts with smaller amounts.
  • Some fees are above average: The firm charges fees on some of its accounts that are above industry averages (these tend to hover around 0.69% on accounts of $10 million, according to a 2021 study by AdvisoryHQ). For example, Goldman Sachs charges a 1.65% annual fee for portfolio management of up to $10 million if the client chooses the firm’s tax-oriented strategy. An even higher 1.90% fee will be levied for structured investment strategies. In addition, because there are so many different fee structures noted in the brochure, it may be confusing for prospective clients to figure out what they’ll actually be paying until they speak with an advisor.
  • Compensation for sales of securities and other investments: Advisors may receive compensation for the sale of securities, banking products and other services and investments offered to clients. This could create a conflict of interest, as advisors may be incentivized to recommend particular investments to clients based on potential compensation received.

What types of clients does Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management serve?

The firm serves the following types of clients:

  • High net worth individuals
  • Private investment vehicles
  • Charitable organizations
  • Pension plans
  • Corporations and other business entities

Per its brochure, the firm typically requires clients to have assets of at least $10 million. Goldman Sachs’ website also notes that its Private Wealth Management group works primarily with ultra-high net worth clients. However, you may be able to open an account with less, so be sure to ask about this when exploring becoming a client.

In general, there are complexities when dealing with an arm of a massive corporate entity such as Goldman Sachs, and you should be sure to ask questions for clarity.

Services offered by Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management

The firm offers an extensive menu of services to its clients. Not only can you choose from a variety of preexisting investment vehicles, but the firm can also create customized portfolio options.

Services offered include:

  • Investment management
  • Trading, hedging and structuring solutions
  • Third-party investing services
  • Broker-dealer services
  • Private banking
  • Wealth advisory/family office services
  • Health advisory services
  • Reporting/analytics

How Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management invests your money

The firm uses several distinct teams to develop strategies that are tailored to each client’s needs and goals. Different wealth advisors will use different analysis methods and other strategies, so you should discuss in detail with an advisor before you become a client. While wealth advisors may receive recommendations from a team of Goldman Sachs & Co. investment professionals, it isn’t guaranteed that your advisor will follow these recommendations.

The firm manages funds on both a discretionary and non-discretionary basis, although the vast majority of accounts fall under the discretionary bucket; this means that the advisor can exercise their own discretion when buying or selling securities in a client’s portfolio.

The firm can use a broad range of strategies, asset classes and analysis techniques to figure out how to help clients meet their investment goals. In general, assets used in portfolios built by the firm may include:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Special investments (includes private equity, private real estate, private credit, hedge funds and traditional long-only manager strategies)
  • Structured notes/investments
  • Over-the-counter derivatives

Clients also may be invested in funds that include internally-managed Goldman Sachs funds.

Fees Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management charges for its services

Firm clients with separately managed accounts usually pay a fee based on a percentage of assets under management. Fees are generally negotiable, and are usually billed monthly or quarterly.

There isn’t one standard fee schedule, but the firm does publish rates for certain asset classes and strategies. For example, clients who have their portfolio managed under a tax-oriented strategy will pay an annual advisory fee of 1.65% for the first $10 million invested. That fee goes up to 1.90% for structured investment strategies, and is a bit lower at 1.20% for option advisory services.

Clients may owe additional fees, including custody and administrative fees, family office services fees, consolidated reporting services fees and underlying fund fees.

To know the fees you’ll be paying, you should discuss with your advisor in detail which kind of strategy makes the most sense for you.

Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management disciplinary disclosures

The larger Goldman Sachs & Co., of which the firm is a part, discloses numerous disciplinary events in its Form ADV. While not necessarily unusual for a firm of its size, potential clients should be aware of the nature and frequency of the firm’s past disciplinary issues.

Among its most recent disclosures, the firm agreed to pay a fine of $1.25 million, without admitting to or denying wrongdoing, in response to FINRA allegations that it had failed to fingerprint over 1,000 employees and other associates as required by regulations. The firm also agreed to review its procedures.

For reference, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires all registered investment advisors to report any disclosures within the last 10 years in their Form ADV paperwork. This includes any regulatory, civil or criminal disciplinary event involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates.

You can get more information on the firm and its disciplinary track record by visiting its Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) page.

Where Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management is located

The firm has physical offices in the following locations:

  • New York
  • Cohoes, N.Y.
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Palm Beach, Fla.

The firm also works with clients across the country and globe.

Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management onboarding process

  1. Reach out to the firm: If you’re interested in becoming a client, you can go to the website and click on the “Join Our Community” tab to answer a series of questions regarding the services you are seeking.
  2. Stay in touch: Once you’re a client, you’ll receive access to your accounts and information online and through a mobile app.
  3. Regular reporting: You’ll receive written reports on your advisory account (typically monthly) that include a summary of activity including investment buys and sales and a summary of current holdings.

Is Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management right for you?

Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management is generally aimed at ultra-high net worth individuals who want help managing various aspects of their finances. If you have a complex financial situation and a lot of assets, and you want access to premier services like private banking and a truly tailored management plan, this might be the right move for you. In addition, if you want help with trust administration and know you’ll need other similar services, this firm could be a good choice.

However, if you’re not a high net worth individual, you might be better off looking elsewhere. Before choosing a financial advisor to work with, take the time to research multiple firms to ensure you find the right advisor for you.

The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.