Omer Ismail, the head of Goldman Sachs‘ consumer finance division, and David Stark, one of its top executives, are leaving to join a fintech start-up backed by Ribbit Capital and Walmart. These hirings are a big step that represents the second most prominent effort by the world’s largest retailer to enter the financial services. Under pressure from regulators, it abandoned its plan to start a bank a decade ago.
There is very little information about the start-up that Walmart and Ribbit have declared. They have said that the start-up would “deliver tech-driven financial experiences tailored to Walmart’s customers and associates.” The retailer will be the firm’s majority owner, and growth will come through partnerships and acquisitions.
Stark is a Goldman partner who is with Marcus since its founding for almost five years. He was also responsible for the establishment of a credit-card partnership with Apple.
Marcus generated a revenue of almost $1.2 billion in 2020, 40% more than that of 2019. It had outstanding loans worth $8 billion at year-end. Ribbit Capital is a significant backer of Robinhood. More than $500 million in convertible debt financing was provided by Ribbit.
In a statement, Goldman Sachs said, “Marcus has serious momentum and a deep and growing bench of talent. We wish these two well.”