Ram Sundaram Ashok Varadhan Goldman Sachs
Ram Sundaram, right, is seen here with Ashok Varadhan, one of his bosses at Goldman, at a benefit for the Child Mind Institute in 2018.
Sylvain Gaboury/Getty Images

Ram Sundaram, the head of currencies and emerging-markets business at Goldman Sachs, is planning to exit the firm, according to a person with knowledge of his decision. 

Sundaram is a Goldman partner who was closely involved in the design and sale of the trades the bank did for the Malaysia development fund known as 1MDB. The bank reached a $3.9 billion settlement last year over its role in the trades. Sundaram has never been implicated in the scandal. 

Last June, Sundaram solidified his position as a senior leader in Goldman’s mighty markets division when he became the only executive running the emerging-markets and currencies business after a colleague left. Bloomberg first reported Sundaram’s exit earlier today. 

In addition to 1MDB, Sundaram has had a leading role over the past 15 years in some of the bank’s most imaginative – and at times controversial – trades. Some insiders consider him a throwback to an eat-what-you-kill era on Wall Street.

For much of his career, he worked from a secretive but powerful profit center hidden deep within Goldman. Long known as PFI, for Principal Funding and Investments, the unit is well known to Goldman’s top brass and seldom touted. It regularly reaps nine-figure paydays, occasionally angering clients in the process.

Sundaram had his hands in one of Goldman's most recent and most innovative deals when he worked closely on a transaction to help United Airlines come up with a way to use its frequent flyer program as collateral backing an emergency bond issue last year, giving the airline some leeway to weather the pandemic. 

A Goldman Sachs representative declined to comment on Sundaram's exit. 

Read more: Inside the rise of Ram Sundaram, the leader of a secretive Goldman Sachs desk that's minting billions by designing some of the bank's most imaginative - and controversial - trades

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