The asset management industry has come to embrace ESG outcomes. Kathryn (Katie) Koch furthers that effort in her work at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
“Positive environmental, social and governance outcomes will continue to be a secular growth opportunity for asset managers, as asset owners around the world strive to align their portfolios with a specific value system while pursuing financial returns,” explains Koch, head of the firm’s $85 billion fundamental equity business. To pursue this goal, Koch is currently working with several European institutions to manage global equity portfolios that have positive ESG outcomes and strong financial returns.
Additionally, Koch is global head of client portfolio management and business strategy, overseeing a team of 50 investment professionals.
Last year’s World Economic Forum Young Global Leader Award holder rose swiftly through Goldman’s ranks since joining as an analyst in 2002.
Named a managing director in less than 10 years after joining, Koch has held various responsibilities including chief of staff for GSAM’s office of chairman and most recently, head of the global portfolio solutions group for EMEA and Asia Pacific ex-Japan.
She has a team to oversee at home too. “I wasted a lot of energy worrying about whether it was possible to have a challenging and rewarding career alongside a family,” Koch says. “It’s very possible.”
Koch has conducted various research efforts focusing on womens’ roles in the global economy. One of her studies helped Goldman create the first global financing facility dedicated to women, done with the International Finance Corporation.
She encourages women of the industry to invest in both knowledge and networking, emphasizing the importance of the combination as a key to long-term success.
“It is absolutely critical to be a subject matter expert,” Koch says. “However, it is naÏve to believe that you will ascend to the most senior levels of an organization purely based on what you know.”