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Meet the trading star who just made associate at Goldman Sachs, aged 20

If you're good at Goldman Sachs, you will get promoted fast and you will get promoted early. - The archetype is Kunal Shah, the Goldman Sachs macro trader who joined the firm aged 21 and became partner aged 27. Now it looks like another young macro trader is following in Shah's footsteps.

Wajih Ahmed, a trader on Goldman's London inflation desk has just been made associate in this year's junior promotion round. Ahmed, who joined Goldman Sachs two years ago is just twenty years old.

Making associate after two years on Goldman's securities programme is unusual - although the firm usually promotes after two years in the investment banking division, promotions in the securities business are made on merit. In securities, advancement after three years is more common. Ahmed is therefore special, but this has long been the case.

Ahmed was notable for his exceptionalism long before Goldman Sachs.  Aged 10, he scored 99% in his maths A level. Aged 11, he scored 97% in further maths A level. Aged 13, he got an A in his chemistry A level. Aged 14, he got an A* at physics A level. He began studying economics at Southampton University aged 14, and aged only 17 was the university's youngest ever graduate, with a first class degree and an 86% overall pass rate. He then completed a masters in finance at the London School of Economics, all before his 18th birthday.

Ahmed's first encounter with Goldman was in the summer of 2015 when (aged 17), he was an intern in the London securities division. In those three months he managed to achieve a mythical status among other interns and analysts after completing a project that was supposed to have taken an entire week in only two hours.

Ahmed is still only an associate at Goldman. If he wants to emulate Shah, he'll need to become a vice president, executive director, managing director and then partner. None of this is easy. But if the past is any indication of the future, Ahmed is definitely someone to watch - particularly around the time of the 2024 partner promotion round.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Mo
    18 August 2018

    Imagine being that smart and talented and wasting your years in investment banking. He could be changing the world, but he just wants to make money.

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