Perspectives and Advice from Dermot McDonogh

30 AUG 2017

Dermot McDonogh has spent over 20 years at Goldman Sachs in various roles in New York and London, and is currently the chief operating officer for EMEA. He talks about the firm’s activities in the region and what keeps him going.

What are the current priorities for Goldman Sachs in EMEA?

It is an exciting time to be in Europe with significant strategic activity around our Brexit contingency plans and bilateral engagement with UK and European regulators and decision-makers. There has also been extensive focus on regulatory change and ensuring compliance with MiFID II, Initial Margin Rules and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We’re also focused on major projects including the development of our new London campus, the building out of our presence in Warsaw, establishing local equities trading capability in Saudi Arabia and launching an international retail deposit platform.

Tell us more about the planned rollout of an international retail deposit platform.

Following the successful launch of Marcus by Goldman Sachs in the US last year, we feel we’re in a unique position to launch a competitive offering in the UK market developing a retail deposit platform with a simple, digital only product offering. We are building the team in London and plan to launch next year. We believe that our expertise in technology, combined with a deep culture of client service and a strong balance sheet gives us this unique opportunity and offering. Our lack of legacy assets and systems will also be an advantage as we can design an optimal infrastructure for the platform – drawing on the depth and breadth of our Federation functions including Technology, Operations, Legal, Risk and Compliance.

What keeps you driving forward?

The most important thing is I love what I do. I enjoy coming into the office and tackling complex problems. I loved what I did when I joined the firm as an analyst in Product Control twenty-three years ago, and I love what I do now. What keeps me going is remaining philosophical and having perspective – the sun will always come up the next day. If you want to solve issues, worrying and stressing will not help get the job done, so it’s important to try and not let things overwhelm you. It’s often easier said than done, so maintaining a healthy balance is also important. I eat well and exercise frequently— whether that’s attending my regular workout class or playing tennis.

Is there a tip or piece of advice you could share?

At the end of each day, I print out my calendar and assess what went well, what could have been improved and most importantly I ask myself ‘did I make a difference today?’ This regular self-assessment challenges me to find ways to do better on a continuous basis.