NEW YORK - Michael P. Mortara, a senior executive of Goldman Sachs Group and a pioneer of the mortgage bond trading business during his days at Salomon Brothers in the 1980s, died Sunday in his Connecticut home. He was 51.

Mr. Mortara was most recently president and chief executive officer of GS Ventures, a venture capital fund he started this year that invests in e-commerce initiatives in the financial services sector. He also was on Goldman's management, finance, and risk committees. He joined Goldman Sachs as a partner in 1987 and was head of its fixed income group from 1994 to this year.

During the late 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Mortara was a founding member of Salomon Brothers' mortgage bond trading group, which was immortalized in the Michael Lewis book "Liar's Poker."

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