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Goldman Sachs MDs quietly disappearing from Galaxy Digital

When crypto investment bank Galaxy Digital hired Danielle Johnson as its global head of distribution this time last year, it was seen as something of a coup. Johnson, who left Credit Suisse to join Galaxy, spent most of her nearly two and a half decade at Goldman Sachs, where she was latterly a managing director (MD).

Sources with knowledge of the matter say Johnson was hired into Galaxy by Damien Vanderwilt, Galaxy's co-president of global markets and another 20 year veteran of Goldman Sachs. Vanderwilt, who was a former Goldman partner, was the firm's ex-global head of FICC execution services, based in New York. He joined Galaxy in January 2021.

Less than a year after Johnson joined Galaxy, however, she's left again.  Vanderwilt has gone from the day to day running of the company too: he left in mid-January 2023 and is now an advisor and member of the board. 

What's the reason for the exits? Galaxy isn't commenting on Johnson's disappearance, although it's understood that she left by mutual agreement. It announced that Vanderwilt would be 'transitioning' out of his executive role in late November. 

Speaking off the record, some sources that the ex-Goldman hires may not have worked as well as hoped. Although Galaxy founder Michael Novogratz is himself a Goldman Sachs alumnus, ex-Goldman types can be difficult to embed in new situations. "A lot of ex-Goldman people think very highly of themselves," says one observer. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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