By Lauren Tara LaCapra
NEW YORK, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc said in staff memos on Tuesday that it has added five executives to its management committee, the latest in a series of promotions and departures near the top of the Wall Street bank over the past few years.
The new management-committee members are Paul Russo, Michael Daffey, Justin Gmelich, Craig Broderick and Sarah Smith, according to the memos, which were signed by Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn. They were confirmed by a spokesman.
The appointments increase the size of Goldman's management committee to 34 members. The powerful group represents senior executives across trading, investment banking, asset management, finance and other operations who are responsible for developing and implementing the bank's broad strategy and business principles.
Russo and Daffey are co-chief operating officers of Goldman's equities trading business, while Gmelich is global head of credit trading. Broderick is chief risk officer, and Smith is controller and chief accounting officer.
All of the executives have been employed by Goldman Sachs for roughly 15 years or more. Among them, Broderick has been employed by the bank for the longest time, having joined in 1985.
The promotions come a day after Goldman named Ashok Varadhan as a third co-head of securities, and are reflective of sweeping changes across the senior ranks of the bank as Blankfein approaches his eighth year as chief executive officer in June.
For instance, at the start of 2012, the securities business was run by three different executives, two of whom have since left Goldman and one of whom, Harvey Schwartz, replaced longtime chief financial officer David Viniar last year.
Vice Chairman J. Michael Evans, who was seen as a potential successor to Blankfein, retired at the end of the year.
Dozens of highly paid Goldman partners have left since 2011, making way for younger talent to move up the ranks, but also allowing the bank cut costs. Compared with 2010, Goldman's staff levels have dropped 8 percent, but its compensation costs are down 18 percent.
Though there is no sign that Blankfein plans to step down in the immediate future, executives have described the senior-level changes as part of a gradual succession plan that will leave the bank on solid ground when he eventually retires.