Q&A with Nishi Somaiya, Global Co-head of Growth Equity in the Asset Management Division
Nishi Somaiya , global co-head of Growth Equity in the Asset Management Division, was recently named among Private Equity International’s Most Influential Women. In this Q&A, she discusses opportunities in Growth Equity at Goldman Sachs, how to meaningfully give back to one’s community, and the firm’s initiatives for inclusive growth.
Can you describe what the Growth Equity team does at Goldman Sachs? What excites you most about the future of this space?
The Growth Equity team invests in private high-growth businesses globally, with a specific focus on technology and digital transformation. It’s an incredibly exciting time for the asset class as we embark on a period of unprecedented technological change, which we think could result in a rich landscape of investing opportunities. The pandemic has accelerated the rate of digitization across sectors, with wide adoption of new technologies from consumers and enterprises alike. We focus on digital transformation across four key verticals – enterprise, financial, consumer and healthcare – working closely with entrepreneurs and founders to scale and build category-leading businesses. I spoke about these recently in a video for the firm’s website.
Goldman Sachs recently consolidated its platform into a singular asset management division. The integration has resulted in the launch of our inaugural West Street Global Growth Partners fund this year. We are excited to bring the breadth of our global and cross divisional platform to our clients at this pivotal moment in the industry. We are one of the most scaled global growth platforms in the industry, with 75 investors worldwide in cities across the Americas, Europe and Asia and a 20-year track record alongside.
Throughout your career you’ve given back in many ways, like in your work with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) London. What advice would you offer to someone also hoping to give back and make an impact?
My advice is to find something you are passionate about and give however you can, no matter how small it might seem to begin with. Giving can be done with your time, by sharing your network or offering your skills and advice — or a mix of these. Any contribution will help make an impact. Even though life is busy, if it’s a cause you are passionate about, you will find a way to make time.
For me, SEO London has a very personal place in my heart. I started my career at Goldman Sachs 20 years ago as one of the first intern placements through SEO in London. My involvement thereafter grew incrementally beginning with a small commitment to help new cohorts with resume skills, which evolved to dedicating time to mentoring and interviewing new applicants. Fast forward to today, I now serve as a trustee for the organization. I support its efforts to provide access, training and mentorship for talented young people from underrepresented and underserved communities. My amazing partners in the Asset Management Division in London have been incredibly generous and similarly excited to partner with SEO – seeding the funding to build a dedicated alternatives program with the organization to promote diversity and social mobility within the alternatives investing industry more broadly.
I really believe that paying it forward creates a fulfilling virtuous circle where you can bring others along with you.
You are on the Board of Advisors for Launch With GS and oversee the initiative within the Asset Management Division. What inspires you about this and why is it so important for our industry?
Launch With GS is one way we’re trying to create equal opportunity and access for all, by assisting diverse entrepreneurs and investors to be successful in accessing capital.
As a financial services firm, we can offer tangible guidance and resources in this journey by entrepreneurs, and in the process contribute to building more diversity in the ecosystem. We’ve been delighted with the success of Launch With GS and recently announced that we would invest a total of $1 billion in diverse founders and managers—doubling our original commitment.