AFTAs 2023: Best IT team (sell side)—Goldman Sachs

Team: Goldman Sachs Marquee

About the team

Goldman Sachs Marquee is the firm’s digital platform for institutional investors. Led by Chris Churchman and comprising a team of engineers, strategists, designers, and product managers, the team is building the future of digital finance for markets professionals across the industry. Most recently, based on user demand, the team launched Visual Structuring, a mobile-first tool designed to streamline workflows around derivatives pricing and to foster collaboration.

Key project  

In September 2022, Goldman Sachs launched Visual Structuring, a mobile tool for options price discovery and trade idea generation, available through Marquee. Visual Structuring provides a way for clients to price variations, assess scenarios, run back-testing analysis, and collaborate with colleagues. Since its launch, Visual Structuring has expanded into equities, crypto, precious metals, and credit, and now includes web and Android versions, building on the original iOS mobile application for FX launched in September.

The Marquee team is structured like a fintech, with product, designers, strats, engineers, and sales and marketing all working collaboratively to develop new, innovative products that disrupt the status quo in global markets with extremely fast time to market. The fact that we went from patenting the idea of Visual Structuring to launching the product in under a year is testament to the quality of the team we have.” 

Chris Churchman, head of Goldman Sachs Marquee

Problems solved

Over the last two decades, little has changed in options price discovery. Much of the historical focus of technology providers to the buy side has been on optimizing the point of execution, even though much of a trader’s time is spent during the ideation process. Goldman Sachs created Visual Structuring to streamline collaboration and the ideation process through an intuitive, tech-forward platform.

Technology

A decade ago, Goldman Sachs launched Marquee to deliver its pricing data, risk analytics, market insights, and trading solutions to institutional investors. Since then, the Marquee team has continued to leverage technology to scale the platform and develop differentiated solutions to meet its clients’ needs, as demonstrated recently with the launch of Visual Structuring.

Why they won

Over the years, Goldman Sachs has been described by industry observers and a number of its own employees as a data and technology firm that offers its various clients a range of financial services. This win in one of the highest profile categories on offer in this year’s AFTAs underlines just how important technology is to the firm. The Goldman Sachs Marquee team is the epitome of the modern IT team: lean and laser-focused on specific functionality that addresses real-world, day-to-day challenges within the business, with minimal time to market, driven by a diverse team of business and technology experts with a single goal: delivering cutting-edge functionality to the market as quickly as possible. Clearly, Chris Churchman and his team are pushing the boundaries of what is technically possible from an internal IT team, in many ways resembling the focus and agility synonymous with fintech firms generally and start-ups in particular. The Visual Structuring tool and the timeframe in which it was developed is an outstanding achievement.

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