March 23, 2018

Goldman Sachs signals likely CEO pick as it shifts strategy

13 March 2018, 03:49 | Darnell Patrick

Goldman exec eyed as possible CEO is leaving

David Solomon Set to Succeed Blankfein as Goldman CEO as Rival Steps Down

The bank announced that Harvey Schwartz, the firm's president and co-chief operating officer, has chose to retire effective April 20.

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the 63-year-old Blankfein is preparing to step down as soon as the end of the year.

"You will have a banker at the top of Goldman Sachs, where it's been a trader for the last 12 years", he said, referring to Blankfein's resume.

The question of who will next lead the iconic Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs appears to be getting close to an answer.

Mayo predicted that the CEO transition would happen next year, during Goldman Sachs' 150th anniversary as a firm, when he said the firm should be better positioned for Blankfein to exit on top.

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However, Goldman Sachs has not commented on that report and its statement on Monday made no mention of Blankfein's plans.

Blankfein and the board were impressed, insiders say, by Solomon's proven ability to build businesses at a time when the bank is looking to grow, the strength of the investment-banking team he put together, and his efforts to recruit and retain talent. He was global head of the financing group at the bank before becoming co-head of the investment banking division from July 2006 to December 2016.

"I look forward to continuing to work closely with David in building our franchise around the world, serving our expanding client base and delivering strong returns for our shareholders, "Blankfein said in the statement". He and Solomon were named co-COO in December 2016 in a setup that appeared to pit the two against each other to eventually lead what is viewed as the most powerful U.S. investment bank.

Solomon, who is turning 56 this year, worked in junk bonds at Bear Stearns before joining Goldman as a partner in 1999, right before the firm's initial public offering. The "move to expand beyond trading could get a subtle boost under Mr. Solomon given his diverse background (i.e. not another trader)". Today, Goldman's share price is up 0.7% as of this writing.

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