Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Goldman Sees U.S. Inflation Peaking Now and Recession Risk Rising

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Powell said today that downside risks to the economy remain with trade wars softening business investment and weak inflation, signaling that policy makers may be poised to cut interest rates as soon as this month. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expects U.S. inflation to come in below 4% this year, while growth in equities will be relatively flat, according to Meena Lakdawala-Flynn.

“In the U.S., we do think that inflation is peaking right about now,” Lakdawala-Flynn, co-head of global private wealth management, said Thursday at the Bloomberg Wealth Summit in New York. “We think the probability of a recession has increased in 2023.”

She said the wealthy clients her unit caters to are focused on profitability and are looking for exposure to assets in health care, energy and disruptive technology, as well as real estate.

“Within equities we’re recommending that our clients have exposure to names that have pricing power, that have strong margins,” said Lakdawala-Flynn, who has led the business since early 2021 along with John Mallory.

She also said there’s interest in digital assets like NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

“Where we are focusing our clients is on the underlying infrastructure, the picks and shovels,” Lakdawala-Flynn said.

Goldman has added dozens of advisers to its private-wealth unit across Europe, the Middle East and Africa in recent years as it seeks to diversify revenue streams beyond its core strengths of dealmaking and trading.

The bank has also sought to broaden the range of clients it targets with its wealth-advisory services. While private wealth management focuses on the ultra-high-net-worth segment, including individuals as well as families and foundations, it also caters to the high-net-worth crowd through its Ayco business and through the recently re-branded Goldman Sachs personal financial management division.

Revenue at Goldman’s wealth-management and consumer unit rose 25% to $7.5 billion in 2021 from a year earlier. It had about $751 billion of assets under supervision at year-end.

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