The coronavirus pandemic forced Goldman Sachs to slow hiring in its wealth management business last year, though the firm remains committed to eventually expanding the division further, according to CEO David Solomon.

“While the environment has caused us to slow some of our hiring efforts in this area, we remain committed to the growth potential of this franchise,” Solomon said when discussing the performance of Goldman’s consumer and wealth management business at a fourth quarter earnings call with analysts and media.

Goldman hired more than 100 advisors, content specialists and client service specialists in 2020 — fewer than expected due to the pandemic, the firm said in a presentation accompanying the release of its most recent earnings.

At the start of 2020, Solomon identified private wealth management as an area where he wanted to see meaningful growth for the firm, which had planned to increase its ultra-high-net-worth advisor headcount by 250 globally over the following three years.

A Goldman spokesperson declined to provide specific hiring targets the firm hoped to achieve in 2020 or to give the division’s advisor headcount.

Despite the disruption to planned hiring caused by the pandemic, Goldman was able to make meaningful advances in its wealth management business, primarily by expanding its customer base and building out its technology platform, Solomon said during the firm’s most recent earnings call.

As reported, assets under supervision in Goldman’s consumer and wealth management business stood at $615 billion at the end of 2020, up from the $575 billion the unit had at the end of September and the $561 billion it had at the end of 2019. The unit also saw $7 billion in total long-term AUS inflows in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from $4 billion in the third quarter and from $6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The division remains “integral to our strategic priorities,” Solomon said.

Goldman is also planning to grow both Ayco, the financial planning company it purchased in 2003, and Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management, its rebrand of RIA United Capital, which it purchased in 2019, according to Solomon.

Solomon noted that Ayco met the target set earlier in 2020 of adding more than 30 new corporate clients onto its platform.

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