Not all bankers who move to fintech firms choose to stay in the sector long term. Take Zartasha Chaudhry. She’s left her role as head of business development at Previse, a London-based business-to-business payments start-up, after just 18 months to return to her former employer, Goldman Sachs.
Chaudhry started at Goldman as a graduate in 2013 and worked in its principal strategic investments group in London until 2017, latterly as an associate. She has rejoined the same Goldman unit in Hong Kong this month as it expands its Asian operations.
Her short stint in fintech seems to have boosted, not hindered, Chaudhry’s Goldman career. She’s back at the bank not as an associate or vice president, but as an executive director (ED). Writing on LinkedIn, Chaudhry describes her Previse job as a “fantastic experience”, but says she wants to gain international expertise after spending all her career in the UK to date.
At Previse, Chaudhry’s role involved signing blue-chip clients and closing a series-A deal. This should stand her in good stead in her Goldman job, which focuses on “fintech and enterprise tech venture capital investments” across Asia, according to her online profile.
Getting a job in Chaudhry’s team at Goldman isn’t easy. The principal strategic investments group is among the firm’s more rarefied units and only employs about 30 investment professionals globally, according to the GS website. It makes investments in equity and convertible instruments that typically range between $2m and $30m. The tech industry – including fintech subsectors such as payments and trading technology – is the team’s core investment focus.
Chaudhry’s move suggests that Goldman is looking to make further tech investments in Asia Pacific, a region where fintech investment reached $22.7bn in 2018, up from $12.5bn in 2017, according to KPMG.
While the principal strategic investments group may be comparatively small in Asia, it has been growing its headcount. Chaudhry, who writes that she is now “looking to connect with entrepreneurs, investors and innovators across Asia”, is not the only senior Hong Kong-based person to have rejoined the team of late. Matt O'Neill, who first helped build out the Asian investment business between 2009 and 2013, moved back to Goldman as a managing director in December, following a stint at Morgan Stanley.
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