Goldman Sachs (GS) is reportedly in the process of yanking its last specialists from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
According to the Financial Times, the investment bank has reached a preliminary agreement with a buyer, formerly known as Spear, Leeds & Kellogg LP, for its designated market-maker unit.
Goldman shelled out $6.5 billion to acquire Spear, Leeds & Kellogg in 2000, which was at the time the largest specialist firm on the NYSE floor. Today however, with stock trading software designed to buy and sell in fractions of a second, the business is valued at no more than $30 million.
Goldman is currently the Nr. 3 among the six remaining market-makers on the NYSE floor, trailing only Barclays PLC (BCS) and KCG Holdings (KCG) with 640 listed issues from about 500 companies. The New York-based firm plans to retain a brokerage role and continue providing liquidity electronically for NYSE stocks, the FT reported.
Goldman’s plans to sell the business comes amid scrutiny of the role high-frequency trading firms play in the marketplace.
Goldman shares are down 32 cents, or 0.19%, at $165.60 in after hours trading Tuesday.