Wall Street's consumer retail business has been lumpy over the past 12 months, even for Goldman Sachs.

Kathy Elsesser, a Goldman managing director since 2002 and partner since 2004, and head of its consumer retail group in investment banking, has used every ounce of her energy to keep her team on track. She drives strategic planning for the group and is responsible for handling many of Goldman's important retail and consumer customers. The unit's client relationships have improved and the business mix is better, and observers say it is the market leader.

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