Goldman Sachs associate quits to become MD of venture capital firm

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It's happened again: another associate at Goldman Sachs has left for a far bigger title at the helm of a fund on the buy-side.

The latest junior to evacuate Goldman is Jorge Suarez de Lezo, a former associate in Goldman Sachs' M&A financial institutions group (FIG) in London. Suarez de Lezo just left Goldman's London office after nearly four years, and is off to become managing director of a venture capital firm in Spain.

The precise name of this VC firm is unclear and Suarez de Lezo didn't respond to our request for clarification. The implication is that Suarez de Lezo is founding a fund of his own. If so, he's not alone: Stuart Smith, an associate at Goldman's Houston office left after 22 months in May and set up "Southern Creek Capital".

Now may be an auspicious time for a Spanish-born Goldman Sachs associate to move home and start a venture capital fund. The Spanish venture capital market is one of the most under-invested in Europe and new funds raised rose nearly 50% in 2016. There's also Brexit looming on the horizon, as a discouragement to talented European nationals who might otherwise have stayed in London.

Goldman, meanwhile, has been doing its best to discourage its juniors from leaving for more interesting jobs elsewhere. The bank began fast-tracking people through its analyst programme in 2015 and is now making its analysts into associates after two years instead of the traditional three. Suarez de Lezo, however, joined Goldman as an associate in 2013 after completing an MBA at Columbia Business School. After four years at that level, he clearly thought it was time for something else instead.

Photo credit: Exit by Victoria Pickering is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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