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The Big Interview: Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti

"A lot of the Alpha today depends on time: If you ask me to price a complex product and if I can price it 10X faster..."

Goldman Sachs’ CIO Marco Argenti doesn’t describe himself as Chief Information Officer on LinkedIn (where he is “Engineer” instead), and despite being a partner at the investment bank and member of the management committee, gives the impression that he is ready to roll up his sleeves and start coding alongside Goldman’s 12,000+ technologists. 

Maybe it’s a childhood spent tinkering with an HP-41 programmable calculator – “I built my first computer programme on an actual computer when I was 13; that was a very long time ago, by the way” he says drily – but sitting down to talk with The Stack in Goldman Sachs’ New York offices, Argenti still clearly retains a genuine enthusiasm for testing the capabilities of emerging technologies; including, yes, generative AI. 

Why... a bank?

Argenti moved to the bank in 2019 from AWS, where he helped deliver its landmark serverless service Lambda. Earlier in his career, he also held distinctly entrepreneurial roles, including as a startup founder. The institutional and regulatory friction of a big bank is not for every technologist who has tasted a faster moving environment. Why the move, what were his priorities, and how is progress tracking against them? 

“The role of engineers and CIOs is changing pretty dramatically”

 “With technology raising [up] the agenda of boards and of CEOs as it becomes a competitive differentiator, the role of engineers and of CIOs is changing pretty dramatically; it is becoming a strategic role. When I met with David Solomon, and John Waldron, they told me the same thing: ‘In order to be a leader in our space, we need to be a leader in technology’”, recalls Argenti, referring to Goldman’s CEO, and President, respectively.

 Sitting down to speak with The Stack, Argenti adds that he felt finance would be a uniquely “interesting space to operate for a technologist. It is fully digital, we don't have to bend metal or ship [physical goods] – the physics doesn't limit you – and the breadth of services touches every industry and customer, from individuals, to institutions, to countries.”

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