Sex offender worked at Goldman Sachs months after conviction

A banker at Goldman Sachs remained employed by its London office until last month, despite having been convicted for sexually assaulting a child.

Ronan O’Grady pleaded guilty in February to eight counts of sexual assault, according to the Courts Service of Ireland. He was then sentenced to two years in prison at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin on June 28, according to court records. He was under 18 when the offences took place between 2004 and 2008.

O’Grady, 33, was employed by the London office of the Wall Street behemoth until June, when the bank became aware of his conviction, two people familiar with the situation said. O’Grady worked in Goldman’s wealth unit as an executive director, one of the people added.

“We were shocked to learn of Mr O’Grady’s appalling past offences and he is no longer employed by the firm,” Goldman said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the victim.”

Goldman declined to comment on the exact timing of his employment or role.

The bank requires employees to disclose at regular intervals any criminal proceedings.

O’Grady remains listed on the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s register of authorised persons, which confirms individuals are “fit and proper” to work in regulated functions. He was certified to be in that role by Goldman. The FCA only has responsibility for approving senior management functions in the industry.

The FCA declined to comment on the O’Grady case and his lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.

The UK watchdog has been grappling with how to handle non-financial misconduct by regulated firms and individuals in recent years as a number of cases relating to sexual offences have emerged. The FCA said earlier this year that it was intensifying efforts to tackle such behaviour.

In 2021, the FCA banned financial adviser Jon Frensham after he was convicted of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming. While Frensham unsuccessfully contested the ban, the judge said that the conviction alone might have been insufficient to support the prohibition, demonstrating the complexity of the regulator’s role in such cases.

Hedge fund founder Crispin Odey — who was ejected from the company he founded after an investigation by the Financial Times revealed multiple claims of sexual assault and harassment against him — threatened to take the FCA to court if it did not drop an investigation regarding his alleged sexual misconduct at his eponymous hedge fund. The regulator’s investigation into him continues. Odey has disputed the allegations and has issued a libel claim.

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