London/New York: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. had its worst ever result for commodities in the second quarter but is sticking with the struggling business, chief financial officer Marty Chavez said.
“It was a challenging backdrop for commodities, really challenging on all fronts," Chavez told investors Tuesday on a conference call. The bank “remains committed in every way to help our clients manage their commodity risks."
Goldman Sachs, for decades the leading commodity trader on Wall Street, has been reviewing the business after declining volatility and increased regulatory scrutiny hurt profit. Its commitment to the division in recent years set it apart from competitors Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays Plc and Deutsche Bank AG, which cut back or exited commodities trading.
“Out of the 73 quarters that we’ve been a public company it was the worst quarter for the commodities business," Chavez said. Poor performance resulted from the “market backdrop" and lower client activity, he said, while acknowledging that “we didn’t navigate the market as well as we aspired to or as well as we have in the past."
Goldman’s history in commodities stretches back more than three decades to its 1981 purchase of J. Aron, an agriculture and metals trader founded a century earlier to import coffee to New Orleans. The bank’s chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein started his Goldman career at J. Aron dealing in precious metals. Bloomberg