Michelle Executive Director/Vice President, Global Portfolio Solutions Investment Management Division, New York
Hometown: Armonk, NY
Major: Applied Math and Economics
School: Harvard University
Joined GS: Full-time July 2010
On a day to day basis, the work is mentally stimulating, and I get to work with a great team of people.
From a young age I have always enjoyed math and in high school, I took my first economics course and immediately fell in love with the subject. I like how economics explains human behavior, even when people are not aware of the theory. After high school, I went to Harvard University and studied applied math and economics. I thought that finance would be a logical next step, and I was considering many different opportunities in the industry.
I got interested in Strats because of its balance of qualitative and quantitative work. We’re "quants," and we work on real-world tangible problems that matter to our clients. I ultimately made the decision to join Goldman Sachs full time because I felt like I really clicked with the people I met during the interview process.
I was hired into Global Portfolio Solutions (GPS) within the Investment Management Division, where I have been since I started at the firm. GPS is a multi-asset class investing group that designs customized portfolios to meet the investment objectives and relevant constraints of our clients. Within our group there are many different strat roles and opportunities. As Strats, we work closely with our portfolio managers and our clients. Some roles focus on different parts of the investment process such as our long-term strategic asset allocation or our short-term tactical views. They do quantitative research to help our team formulate investment views and use optimization techniques to incorporate these views into client portfolios.
Additionally, some Strat roles are aligned by the type of clients that they work with. For example, I focus on our corporate pension clients. We model our clients’ pension liabilities and run asset-liability analyses. We also build customized benchmarks to capture the market risk factors embedded in their pension liabilities. These benchmarks are used to manage their fixed income portfolio in a way that seeks to hedge their liabilities.
The thing that I find really interesting working in finance is that our work has a meaningful impact. This is especially true in GPS. The overall asset allocation is the primary driver of risk and return in our clients’ portfolios, and our clients frequently ask our advice on key strategic issues. On a day to day basis, the work is mentally stimulating, and I get to work with a great team of people.