Goldman Sachs to move risk managers into independent unit -sources

March 3 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc plans to move its risk management team into an independent unit, people familiar with the matter said, a move that is largely symbolic but signals its growing importance.

Headed by Chief Risk Officer Craig Broderick, the group will be carved out from the finance division, where risk managers have long sat alongside accountants, technologists and those responsible for managing Goldman’s idle cash.

The Wall Street bank is in the process of creating the separate unit, and changes will take effect over the next few months.

Sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss internal matters. Goldman spokeswoman Tiffany Galvin declined to comment.

Goldman Sachs prides itself on the independence and power of its risk management staff. The bank’s risk managers are known for questioning business decisions. That has been true since before the 2008 financial crisis at Goldman, but it has not been uniformly true for other big banks.

Goldman’s new structure will not change much about the way risk managers operate, but will offer the operation new prominence, sources said.

Broderick, who joined Goldman in 1985, will maintain his responsibilities. The firm-wide risk committee, which is co-chaired by Broderick and Goldman’s finance chief, will also stay the same.

Phil Venables, the bank’s chief information risk officer, will move into the division to a new role that includes handling operational risk. He previously sat within the technology division.

Like other big banks, Goldman is increasingly under threat from hackers and technology glitches, and Venables’ move into the risk division reflects the importance of protecting against such attacks, sources said. (Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Lauren Tara LaCapra and Cynthia Osterman)