An executive from Goldman Sachs Group Inc said the company in some cases profited by trading ahead of or against its own clients, the New York Times said on its website.

Thomas Mazarakis, who heads Goldman's fundamental strategies group, told select clients in an email that his unit often provided investment ideas that the firm had already traded on and the firm sometimes took the opposite approach, betting against particular instruments recommended by the group, the Times said.

We may trade, and may have existing positions, based on trading ideas before we have discussed those trading ideas with you, the paper quoted Mazarakis as writing in the email.

The paper quoted Goldman spokesman Lucas van Praag as saying in a statement the company has been providing this disclosure, which we think is best practice, for a number of years and there is nothing new in the disclosure you were sent.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman in Hong Kong could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Anshuman Daga)