Three senior Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management advisers left the bank earlier this month to form an independent San Francisco boutique, Seven Post Investment Office LP.
Ali Bastani, who spent 13 years at Goldman Sachs, 26-year veteran Eldridge El Gray, and Charles Wyman, 15 years in the brokerage industry, started the new firm on September 2, according to records filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Seven Post advisers declined to be interviewed, though Bastani, Gray and Wyman announced their moves to the new firm on their LinkedIn pages.
One rival wealth manager who knows Bastani said the trio were among one of the New York investment bank's largest annual revenue producers.
They leave behind at least two members of their team -- John Underwood and Bruce Bligh, according to another wealth management executive who has worked with Goldman advisers. The San Francisco office has roughly a dozen other teams still in place.
Our office in San Francisco remains strong and is focused on serving Bay Area clients, said Goldman spokesman Steve Cohen.
Seven Post seeks to advise clients with at least $25 million in assets, managing global multi-asset class portfolios and also engaging third-party investment managers, according to the SEC filing. The firm reported no clients or assets as of September 2.
Gray, according to FINRA BrokerCheck, commenced his Wall Street career in 1985 at Cyrus J. Lawrence, where he worked for a month. He then spent seven years at New Jersey brokerage Nagelvoort & Co and one year at Stone Securities in Boston before joining Goldman in 1994.
Wyman joined Credit Suisse First Boston in 1996, jumped to Putnam Lovell NBF in 2002 and then spent three years at independent investment bank GCA Savvian Advisors, according to his FINRA records.
It's part of a trend: advisers are breaking away from Wall Street firms to get their independence and to get away from organizations whose reputations have been tarnished during the crisis, said Sophie Schmitt, a senior analyst at research and consulting firm Aite Group.
Goldman Private Wealth Management spent several months in the spotlight earlier this year after Goldman agreed to raise $1.5 billion for social networking site Facebook through a special-purpose vehicle marketed to multimillionaire clients.
Goldman excluded U.S. clients after critics complained that the deal circumvented SEC rules, designed to promote transparency, by letting Facebook raise capital without registering as a public company.
Controversy surrounding other Goldman transactions, including its sales of mortgage derivatives in 2008 even as the firm held a negative view of U.S. housing, also dented its reputation among investors.
The private wealth unit had roughly 600 financial advisers worldwide, including 400 in 13 cities across the United States, a person familiar with the firm said. The bank plans to add 200 more advisers over the next few years in markets like Brazil, China, the Middle East and expand its U.S. presence, the person said.
Goldman does not disclose headcount, assets or financial performance for the wealth management business.
Other than the Seven Post defection, there have not been any other reported departures from Goldman this year. Recruiters say it is tough to lure brokers away from Goldman, where advisers can get access to the firm's deals, alternative investments and investment-banking clients.
Last year a trio of advisers managing $300 million left to join Credit Suisse
(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; Editing by Jennifer Merritt and Walden Siew)