August 1, 2017 / 5:13 PM / 2 years ago

Goldman CFO Chavez: Bond trading conditions not improved since second quarter

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) Chief Financial Officer Marty Chavez said on Tuesday that the market for fixed income trading has not improved much since the second quarter.

FILE PHOTO - A Goldman Sachs sign is seen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S. on January 24, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Chavez said on a call with fixed income investors that low volatility - which caused a slump in trading revenue for Goldman during the second quarter - had “essentially continued into this quarter.”

Goldman in the second quarter reported a 40 percent drop in bond trading revenue and posted the weakest commodities results in its history as a public company.

Chavez faced questions on the call from three investors about the future of the fixed income, currencies and commodities business at Goldman and how the firm planned to turn it around. One investor also wondered if further deterioration in the business over the next two to four quarters could damage Goldman’s credit rating.

Goldman is focused on engaging with clients about areas it can improve on, Chavez said.

We are “asking them how we’re doing with them, what’s working, what’s not, what they like to see more of and less of,” he said. Goldman is particularly focused on courting large corporations and asset management firms as clients. In the past it tended to focus more on relationships with hedge funds.

Goldman is also pushing more cross-selling with the investment bank, he said, as well as using technology to build out cash services to clients.

Goldman’s trading performance during the second quarter was worse than peers including JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N).

Many of Goldman’s clients are active asset managers, like hedge funds, that have broadly been struggling to post strong returns. Those clients have been trading less, representing less revenue to Goldman.

(This version of the story inserts dropped word “less” in final paragraph)

Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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