Fixed income sales manager to leave Goldman Sachs

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Sales continue in Goldman Sachs group Inc.

SG 3.12%

commercial branch in difficulty while the new general manager of the company takes over.

The latest departure is John Willian, who announced Tuesday that he will be retiring as sales manager for Goldman’s all-important bond division. He will be replaced in the United States by Avanish Bhavsar, a senior US credit seller, and Ricardo Mora, who focuses on emerging market debt, people familiar with the matter said.

Goldman’s business arm has lost ground to its competitors in recent years as it grapples with calm markets and changing customer preferences. The problems have been particularly deep in fixed income securities, which include bonds, currencies and commodities.

Fixing the business is a priority for Goldman’s new chief executive, David Solomon, a former investment banker who took over from Lloyd Blankfein on October 1. Chavez, alongside a more traditional trader, Ashok Varadhan, steered the division’s leadership towards faster software and improved customer service.

Two co-heads of the trading division left earlier this year, and Paul Russo, the company’s co-head of equities, is also leaving. Ed Knight, an equity sales partner in London, and Stacy Bash-Polley, who oversaw relationships with major trading clients, including BlackRock Inc.,

have been gone in recent weeks.

Mr. Willian joined Goldman in 1990 as a mortgage broker and then worked in municipal bond trading and the company’s prime brokerage division, which deals with hedge funds. In 2016, he is responsible for overseeing sales of fixed income securities.

Write to Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com

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