One of Goldman’s star Singapore MDs has an exciting new GIC job

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What do you do when you leave Goldman Sachs after more than 17 years? For Singapore-based Owi Ruivivar, who left Goldman in June, the answer is to join GIC in a senior strategy job.

Ruivivar, formerly a managing director at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, has now resurfaced at GIC and is tasked with “overseeing long-term macroeconomic strategy” in a senior vice president role, according to her LinkedIn profile. A strategy job at GIC would appear to come with a high level of responsibility, given that the Singaporean firm is the world’s sixth largest sovereign wealth fund and manages an estimated US$440bn in total assets. GIC did not respond to a request to comment on Ruivivar’s appointment.

GIC is famously selective in its hiring and has a long history of attracting high-performers from the banking sector. “In Singapore, bankers tend to join GIC not for the money, but for the prestige and even because they want to work for a firm that’s seen as helping out the country,” says a buy-side headhunter.

Hiring someone of Ruivivar’s pedigree is still a coup for GIC. Ruivivar is one of the founding members of Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s (GSAM) emerging market debt (EMD) franchise. She relocated from New York to Singapore in 2010 to lead the unit’s development in Asia ex-Japan, and established Singapore as GSAM’s fixed income hub for the region. Ruivivar was promoted to MD in 2011.

Not all of Ruivivar’s work at Goldman was behind the scenes. She was also a client-facing portfolio manager with responsibility for overall risk management of EMD portfolios for Asia-based clients.

Moreover, Ruivivar is an economist, which explains her macroeconomic role at GIC. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BA in economics from Harvard, Ruivivar was awarded a PhD from MIT in 1997. At Goldman in Singapore, Ruivivar specialised in “thematic macro research” to assist clients with portfolio positioning and with evaluating the impact of longer-term structural themes on investments, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Ruivivar worked at BNP Paribas in New York between 1997 and 2002 at the start of her banking career, latterly as global head of emerging markets trade strategy. She joined Goldman in the same city in 2002 as a senior portfolio manager. In a 2005 interview while at GS in NYC, Ruivivar described herself as a “geek” who liked to build computer models and cover her office whiteboard in mathematical formulas.

If you want to get hired by Ruivivar, a 2017 interview provides some insights into her investment strategies. “If active investors like us are going to be worth their salt, they need to be able to understand the risk that is particular to an individual issuer, which speaks to how important it is to have a research-intensive credit-selection focus when you invest,” Ruivivar told the Business Times. “It’s very dangerous to view the market like a monolithic whole.”

Image credit: Eugenia Clara, Unsplash

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