Buckley T. Ratchford, head of global bank loan trading and distressed investing at Goldman Sachs, will leave the firm at year’s end, according to an internal memo obtained by ASR sister publication Leveraged Finance News.
Ratchford joins Blake W. Mather, a partner who ran bank loan sales, as a “retiring” partner. An internal memo regarding Mather’s exit at the end of the year is dated Sept. 13.
Michael DuVally, a Goldman Sachs spokesman, confirmed the departures but declined to comment on who will assume their responsibilities. He also declined to comment on the possibility of additional people leaving the leveraged loan or high yield bond groups.
“During the analyst call for our second quarter earnings we announced an expense reduction target, and as part of that expense reduction we said we anticipate reducing head count by about 1,000,” DuVally said. But the investment bank, like other Wall Street firms, does not specify where layoffs will be made when they’re announced.
Goldman — which earlier this month posted a $428 million loss for the third quarter, its second quarterly loss in 12 years as a public company — is known for culling its bottom performing partners annually. And fixed-income sales and trading has been challenging all around, with these groups being disproportionately affected by layoffs across Wall Street.
Average daily trading volumes of high yield debt dropped to $3.6 billion in July, the lowest this year, as concern mounted over the European sovereign debt crisis, according to Trace data. Volumes have risen to an average of $4.3 billion each day this month, the slowest for an October since 2007, the data show.
At Goldman, third-quarter revenue from fixed income, currencies and commodities dropped 36% to $1.73 billion from $2.69 billion a year earlier, the company said.
Ratchford joined the bank in 1998 and became head of global bank loan distressed investing in 2003.
In December, he was featured on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report after one of the show’s writers found his credit card on the street. Host Stephen Colbert said he would reveal one digit of Ratchford’s card number each night until he came on the show to defend Wall Street bonuses. Colbert dropped the plan after Goldman’s lawyers contacted the comedian to request the card be returned.
Mather spent 20 years at Goldman, managing the bank loan sales group in New York since 2005. He was named managing director in 2000 and partner in 2008.