Goldman Sachs Currency Traders Cho, Lim Said to Depart Firm

Feb 05, 2014 11:35 am ET

Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Steven Cho and Leland Lim, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partners in its currency-trading business, have left the firm, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Cho was global head of spot and forward trading of G-10 currencies in New York, while Lim was co-head of macro trading, which includes interest-rates and currencies, for Asia ex-Japan, said the person, who asked to remain anonymous because the departures weren’t public. Cho and Lim were both named partners in 2010.

Regulators are probing whether traders at the world’s largest banks colluded through instant-message groups to manipulate benchmarks such as the WM/Reuters rates. Michael DuVally, a spokesman for New York-based Goldman Sachs, declined to comment on whether the departures were related to any probe. Cho didn’t return a call for comment, while Lim didn’t respond to an e-mail.

Currency-trading revenue at the 10 largest global investment banks declined 6 percent in the first nine months of 2013, according to industry analytics firm Coalition Ltd. Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz said the currency business had “difficulty managing inventory” in the third quarter as the firm posted its worst fixed-income trading revenue since the financial crisis.

Cho worked under Guy Saidenberg, Goldman Sachs’s global head of foreign-exchange trading, who remains in his role, the person familiar with the matter said. Cho joined the firm in 1996 after previously working at Citigroup Inc., according to a biography on the website of the nonprofit organization Apex for Youth.

Dow Jones Newswire reported Cho’s departure earlier today.

--Editors: Steven Crabill, Dan Kraut