Goldman Sachs’ Anderton-Davies: ‘Women have defined my career’

Goldman Sachs ETF Accelerator EMEA head reveals her career-defining moments

Theo Andrew

Rebecca Anderton-Davies new.png

Goldman Sachs ETF Accelerator EMEA head Rebecca Anderton-Davies is clear about the biggest influences of her career.

Having fallen into the world of finance “by accident” through an internship at Citi and being hooked by the buzz of the trading floor at her first full-time gig at UBS, Anderton-Davies made her name navigating the corporate giant that is Goldman Sachs.

Making managing director in 2019, after just 10 years at the firm, she now finds herself in the rapidly expanding world of ETFs, with the opportunity to build out the European arm of one of Goldman’s latest ventures, the Goldman Sachs ETF Accelerator.

“I have had amazing bosses, mentors and sponsors throughout my whole career, both men and women,” Anderton-Davies said fresh from coffee with the woman who first gave her a break in the industry.

“Looking back, two of the people that gave me the biggest opportunities that have defined my career are women.”

The first was a female partner at Goldman Sachs that ran FX who helped Anderton-Davies move into “relationship management” over a decade ago, where she gained her first exposure to the ETF industry.

“That was the first seat I first made managing director and where I first got exposure to ETF issuers, which became some of my biggest clients,” she said. “I got a first-hand view of what it was like to build those businesses and their strategic importance.”

It was through this that Anderton-Davies met the now global head of Goldman Sachs ETF Accelerator Lisa Mantil, then a partner in the firm’s global markets division.

“When I was looking for my next opportunity Lisa was starting to build out this business and the stars aligned, she asked me to move across and build out the business here in Europe,” she said.

“I feel I have been very lucky, it is notable to me that my two big breaks as I see them came from senior women.”

‘Not missing a beat’

Despite her rapid rise, Anderton-Davies said one of the biggest setbacks she faced in her career was not making managing director at an earlier stage, although one she now sees as a teaching moment.

“I was very disappointed when it did not happen and spent a lot of time speaking to my sponsors and managers to understand why and what I could do next time,” she said.

“They told me, ‘This is your moment to prove that you care, that you hear the feedback and show us that you are implementing’.

“The last thing I said before walking out of my manager’s office was, ‘I am not going to be upset about this, and I am not going to miss a beat’. Two years later, he called me to tell me I made managing director.”

In the intervening period, Anderton-Davies had the first of two children, something she describes as a “remarkably good focus mechanism”.

“When I came back to work after maternity leave, I felt very focused on what I was doing and why I was doing it,” she said. “It was important to have both my career and my family, allowing me to explore all areas of my personality.”

Since then she has gone on to write two books, the second of which is about assessing your opportunities from a work and life perspective, something she had experience of taking on her new role 18 months ago.

“When I got the opportunity to start running ETF Accelerator in Europe, it was huge for me and my career, but I had to make some space in the rest of my life to be able to do that,” Anderton-Davies said.

“In my book, I talk about the trades, not trade-offs, because I think it is a win-win. It meant I had to put other things down last year, but that was a deliberate choice.”

Anderton-Davies said she was immediately drawn to the idea of launching the European arm having discussed it with Mantil, describing it as “an opportunity that I could not turn down”.

‘Imminent’ ETF launch

Having launched ETF Accelerator in November 2022, the firm had planned to launch its first ETFs in Europe by the end of last year, having gone live in the US last August.

“We will be live in Europe imminently and the pipeline is really strong,” she said. “We will deliver the full breadth of the ETF spectrum from physical to synthetic and small and large managers.”

She added Europe does not have the “urgency” of the US market but expects that to change.

“When we are on the road talking to clients they all agree ETFs are the future, but they do not feel much urgency in Europe yet. In six to 12 months, not least because of the clients coming to market, those conversations will be very different.”


No ETFs to show.