/Walmart nabs Goldman Sachs bankers to help lead its new fintech start-up
Walmart nabs Goldman Sachs bankers to help lead its new fintech start-up

Walmart nabs Goldman Sachs bankers to help lead its new fintech start-up

Cars drive past a Walmart store in Washington, DC, on August 18, 2020.

Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images

Walmart has nabbed two veteran bankers from Goldman Sachs to help spearhead its new fintech start-up, as the company looks beyond retail to drive revenue.

Omer Ismail, who leads Goldman’s consumer bank, and David Stark, another Goldman banker, are leaving for the retailer. A Goldman Sachs spokesman confirmed their departures. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.

Walmart announced in January that it is creating a new company to develop unique, affordable financial products for customers and employees. It has teamed up with Ribbit Capital, a venture capital firm, but will own a majority stake in the start-up. Walmart did not share the name of the company or when services would be available. Walmart executives, including CFO Brett Biggs and Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner, will be on the start-up’s board.

Walmart said it may acquire or partner with other fintech companies as part of the venture.

The discounter declined to share details beyond what the company previously announced.

With the hires, Walmart is putting money and muscle behind its financial services ambitions. The company is also underscoring its strategy for the years ahead. At a recent investor day, CEO Doug McMillon said the world’s largest retailer will use its size and scale to drive revenue in other areas, from opening health-care clinics to turning consumer data into targeted ads. He said Walmart will deepen customer loyalty with a growing ecosystem of products and its subscription service, Walmart+. It plans to step up investments to make that happen, boosting them to about $14 billion for this year versus the company’s typical annual rate of $10 billion to $11 billion.

Walmart already offers some financial services, such as a prepaid debit card that customers can load with money and use for purchases. The card is also an alternative for people who may have a challenged credit history, with features like no overdraft or monthly fees and no required minimum balance.

The company’s shares are up nearly 23% over the past year, bringing its market value to more than $374 billion.