Goldman Sachs President And Co-COO Harvey Schwartz To Retire

13 March, 2018, 10:52 | Author: Angelina Schmidt
  • David Solomon Set to Succeed Blankfein as Goldman CEO as Rival Steps Down

Harvey Schwartz, one of the frontrunners to replace Lloyd Blankfein at the helm of Goldman Sachs, has quit just days after it emerged the chief executive was planning to stand down. It leaves David Solomon as the sole president and chief operating officer and the firm favourite to succeed Blankfein.

On that front, Solomon already has experience making the notoriously grueling entry-level job at Goldman a bit more millennial friendly.

Blankfein, 63, has served as the bank's CEO for about 12 years.

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The Wall Street veteran says finding and exploring a passion is crucial to longevity in a career known for grinding people down and burning them out.

The banking giant announced today that its co-president and co-chief operating officer Harvey Schwartz had chose to retire effective on 20 April. In a November tweet he said: "So much at stake, why not make sure consensus still there?" A black-belt in karate, Schwartz moved up the ranks at Goldman Sachs after starting in its commodities trading division, in the same manner as Blankfein.

Solomon and Schwartz were appointed to their roles in late 2016 after the firm's longtime president Gary Cohn left to join Donald Trump's administration.

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The competition has been a favorite topic of conversation within the halls of its Manhattan headquarters, with one executive saying it distracted from day-to-day business. "The increased transparency also likely puts insiders more at ease", so that they can focus on running the company rather than being distracted with succession.

KBW sees Solomon as "a capable leader", with significant experience running the investment bank, and a longstanding member of Goldman's management committee.

As performance within the trading division has faced clear headwinds over the past couple of years, "a change in leadership may provide fresh perspective" as the firm strives to achieve more than $5 billion in net revenue opportunities over the next few years.

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Before taking the co-COO role, Solomon had been a co-head of investment banking in NY for a decade. And its belated attempts to muscle its way into businesses such as consumer lending have failed to transform the company into a real competitor of commercial banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup. The business now ranks among the largest lenders to M&A buyers, and it reported record revenue past year. "So we saw the future as more of an investment banking future than a securities or trading future and that favored Solomon". Solomon also led a study about improving the quality of life for Goldman's junior bankers, resulting in new limits on weekend working hours, the report said.

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