The time has finally come for longtime Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein to stop doing “God’s work” and turn the management of the storied investment bank over to one of his lieutenants. According to the New York Times, Goldman is expected to officially name David Solomon as Blankfein’s successor as soon as Monday,months after the bank said Solomon would take over as the sole president of Goldman, effectively positioning him to be next in line to the throne.
Blankfein is expected to stay on “for an interim period” that will last at least until the end of the year. While Solomon’s status as CEO heir apparent was more or less confirmed earlier this year, the official announcement of his succession wasn’t expected until the fall. It wasn’t immediately clear what had prompted Goldman, which is set to release its second-quarter earnings on Tuesday, to formalize its succession plan so early.
According to NYT, 63-year-old Blankfein, who once joked that he would “die at his desk”, has led the firm through radical changes and periods of tumult including the 2008 financial crisis and the reshaping of the bank’s business. Solomon joined Goldman as a partner in 1999 after a lengthy career at Bear Stearns, where he helped run the bank’s junk bonds business.
Mr. Solomon is a longtime investment banker who spent his formative years as a manager at Bear Stearns, where he helped run the bank’s junk bonds division. He joined Goldman as a partner in 1999 to work with its leveraged finance team and in 2006 he was named co-head of its investment bank. He held that job for the next decade before being named co-president of Goldman late in 2016. A little over a year later, he was named sole president and, with that, became the likely successor to Mr. Blankfein.
Mr. Solomon has said that priorities for the firm include working toward gender parity among its employees and improving the coordination between different divisions that serve the same clients. He has also been a big proponent of the firm’s nascent push into consumer banking, Goldman officials say.
Mr. Solomon, who works on strategy and deals with top executives at companies like Walt Disney Company, Uber and 3M, comes from one of the firm’s mainstay divisions. But his personal interests, which include a side gig as an electronic dance music D.J., would make him an unconventional bank chief executive.
Maybe Blankfein is rushing his departure because central banks have continued with their “buying up all the risky assets,” though volatility has returned to the market this year, a development that should help pad the bank’s profits and help Blankfein leave on a high note.
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Author: Tyler Durden