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David Solomon’s quest to transform Goldman Sachs from the elite envy of all Wall Street into an aw-shucks community bank has, quite frankly, been a story of fits and starts. Marcus remains something of an unloved backwater, both externally and internally. And the investment bank stubbornly remains the source of most of Goldman’s profit.

Still, Solomon's at last getting into cryptos properly. He’s finally bought that plain-vanilla money manager he’s always wanted (although it wasn’t Wells Fargo’s), and he’s unloading the fancy part of Goldman Sachs Asset Management at the same time. But while he may have missed out on buying Robinhood, he’s not going to miss out on the latest acquisition craze.

Goldman Sachs is acquiring fintech lender GreenSky for $2.24 billion as the investment bank pushes further into consumer finance.

The all-stock deal for GreenSky, called the biggest fintech platform for home improvement loans in a release announcing the transaction, is expected to close by the first quarter of 2022…. Now, the bank that once catered only to heads of state, corporate leaders and the ultra wealthy will be extending installment loans to regular Americans seeking to renovate their kitchens…. GreenSky sidesteps credit cards for big ticket purchases with loans that are repaid over weeks or months. The buy now, pay later trend in fintech has gotten red hot as of late….

Unfortunately, it seems that at twice what he’s spent on his two biggest acquisitions combined, this bit of next-gen technology was a bit rich for D-Sol’s blood when there are SPACs out there willing to spend anything just to make a deal.

Pagaya operates an artificial-intelligence network to make financial transactions like lending more efficient and give more people the ability to borrow. Banks and other financial-services providers use its platform, which analyzes troves of data to help partners serve more customers.

Pagaya is combining with the SPAC EJF Acquisition Corp…. EJF is known for investing in the financial-services sector and was co-founded by Emanuel “Manny” Friedman, who is expected to join Pagaya’s board of directors.

For its part, JPMorgan—which already bought its piece of proletarian payments last week—is improbably turning to the pitiful Marcus to bolster its own online lending biz.

Paul Vienick will lead online investing, according to the memo. He was previously a top executive at Charles Schwab Corp.’s TD Ameritrade, and he also held top jobs at Morgan Stanley and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit. Andrea Finan will run the bank’s self-directed investing business. She was previously at Goldman, where she helped launch Marcus Invest.

Goldman Sachs is acquiring buy now, pay later fintech GreenSky for $2.2 billion [CNBC]
Fintech Startup Pagaya Reaches $9 Billion SPAC Deal to Go Public [WSJ]
JPMorgan Chases the Online Investing Boom With Senior Hires [WSJ]

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