Goldman Sachs had a knockout year in Africa. The firm has invested heavily in the region, with a clear focus on a few core markets, notably South Africa, where it has moved to a larger office in Johannesburg and added foreign-exchange and fixed-income products that target corporate and institutional investors. In 2019, it joined forces with Investec to provide domestic equity trading services. A year later, it secured a licence to trade futures from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
At the heart of this is a small but growing roster of veteran bankers, led by Jonathan Penkin, head of the bank’s Johannesburg office and chief executive of Goldman Sachs International Bank Johannesburg Branch. Penkin’s aim is to compete with local financial services firms, notably FirstRand and Standard Bank, in key areas such as forex and risk management.
In June 2021, the bank hired Zoya Sisulu from South Africa’s largest lender by assets, Standard Bank, to head the firm’s financing group.