Omer Ismail, the head of Goldman Sachs' consumer business, is decamping to Walmart to take charge of the US retail chain's up-and-coming fintech startup.
The news of Ismail's departure was reported by Bloomberg on Sunday. He is taking one of his top lieutenants, David Stark, with him to the new venture.
Both men had been entrusted with key roles in Goldman Sachs' push into the retail market - Ismail guiding the development of Marcus, and Stark as head of Apple credit card.
“Our business has serious momentum and a deep and growing bench of talent. We wish these two well,” Goldman Sachs spokesman said in an emailed statement.
Nonetheless, the recruitment is seen as a serious coup for Walmart and a statement of intent on its ambitions for its new fintech joint venture with Ribbit Capital.
Announced in January, the venture will bring together Walmart’s retail knowledge and scale with Ribbit’s fintech expertise to deliver "tech-driven financial experiences tailored to Walmart’s customers and associates".
Although details are scant, the calibre of the new hires implies that Walmart may be preparing for a full-scale assault on the banking market.