Devan Executive Director/Vice President, Private Wealth Management Trade Management and Settlement Operations Division, Salt Lake City
At Goldman Sachs, it isn’t a matter of whether an opportunity will be made available but rather if you are the type of person who will do something about it.
I work for the Private Banking Operations group in Salt Lake City. We focus on a variety of activities, from reviewing and processing incoming funds to monitoring fraud on payment service products, such as debit cards, checking, ACH and BillPay. We work with a number of divisions, including Compliance, Legal and Technology, to support our business and to implement changes.
Being involved with Private Banking at Goldman Sachs has given me insight into how all credit card, debit card and banking institutions manage their processes. I’m fascinated at how creative fraudsters can be, what new things they think of to attempt to circumvent our controls and the constant challenge of always being one step ahead of them.
At Goldman Sachs, it isn’t a matter of whether an opportunity will be made available but rather if you are the type of person who will do something about it. Unlike at other organizations, managers at Goldman Sachs pride themselves on empowering their employees to be creative and to develop solutions to problems at any level. This is a place where I can select the opportunities I’m interested in, instead of waiting for the organization to decide for me.
My current assignment is managing the Private Banking Operations group. The most interesting aspect of the job is the sheer variety of what I face each day, whether that’s resolving a system failure, working through an issue raised by a client or discussing what new features we should offer our clients. I enjoy working through the demands our clients place on us and rethinking our processes to develop creative solutions to accommodate their needs.
I would say the most challenging part of my job is similar to what most people across the firm feel – the act of balancing the amount of work versus the desire to take on more, all while trying to maintain extremely high standards.
My proudest accomplishments at the firm have been my involvement in developing people. Given the understanding that we win and lose as a team, it is critically important to have the right mix of people all working together toward one goal. Private Banking is very new, and many of the people on the team were hired right out of college. Seeing these individuals grow and succeed in ways they were not previously capable of, and knowing that I had a hand in that process, is extremely rewarding.
Growing up, I was always interested in finance. When I heard that Goldman Sachs was opening a new office in Salt Lake City and was actively recruiting, I was not actually looking for a new job. However, I knew I wanted to work for an organization of excellence, so I could not pass up the chance to at least look at what was available. I didn’t have any contacts at the time so I applied through the Web. Eight interviews later, I got an offer.
Soon after my first day, I realized it was up to me to immerse myself in the culture, ask questions and take things as far as I wanted..
I always knew that I wanted to work in finance. It was a field that interested me from the time I invested in my first mutual fund. However at that point, like many people, I thought “finance” meant being a trader on Wall Street. In college, I began to understand just how vast the finance industry was. I decided that the best method was to get started, so I worked for a year as an intern at a local bank and then transitioned to a retail brokerage firm. After a few years working there, I was fortunate to find an opportunity in the Operations division at Goldman Sachs. I can’t say that when I started in the workforce I expected to be at Goldman Sachs, but now, after being here for five years, I don’t know how I could work anywhere else.
I think anyone who is seeking a job in finance should ask themselves (and others) what “finance” is. Is it investment banking, trading, accounting, real estate, retirement planning or providing advisory services? While there is no right or wrong answer to the question, I think the act of asking helps you understand how many options are available and how much you have to learn.