Goldman Sachs has created an elite tech team to tackle AI, big projects

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Technology is central to Goldman Sachs' business, particularly now that former chief information officer Marty Chavez has moved across to the CFO job, and it's just created a crack-team to work on big strategic projects that will stretch across the organisation.

The newly-created research and development team, headed by Neema Raphael, who joined Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 2003 and was promoted to MD ten years later, will tackle everything from cyber-security to how the bank invests in artificial intelligence projects. The team was unveiled at the end of October. Alongside Raphael, Paul Burchard - a managing director with a focus on artificial intelligence and algorithmic market making - is the lead researcher new unit.

It's also been hiring. Vijay Saraswat joined the bank last month as a vice president and technology fellow. Saraswat worked at companies such as Xerox, AT&T and IBM, as well as the startups Vayusphere and Kirusa, before becoming a professor of computer science and engineering at Penn State University. He was lured back into the private sector, however, and for the past 14 years has been at IBM, latterly as chief scientist of cognitive computing and machine learning in the TJ Watson Research Lab.

Saraswat will be focused mostly on artificial intelligence projects in the R&D group, but there is not a formalized AI lab or structure at this point, according to a Goldman spokesperson.

The new technology team is focusing on projects related to software engineering, financial modelling, infrastructure engineering and cyber security that will apply across the organization. The restructuring involves internal promotions, as well as a recruitment push, for the group tasked with tackling very high-level, complex and strategic technology projects.

Umesh Subramanian, a partner and the co-head of technology, sent a memo out to Goldman staff on October 31. "This group will partner with divisions and engineering teams across the firm to execute long-term projects requiring significant technical research to support our businesses as they grow," he wrote.

Photo credit: pookpiik/GettyImages

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