According to a press release, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein will retire from his position as chair and chief executive officer of the major bank on September 30, 2018. Taking his place in both roles will be David M. Solomon, currently President and Co-Chief Operating Officer since 2016. Who is David Solomon, and what can investors expect from the new head of Goldman?
Nearly 20 Years of History at Goldman
When Solomon assumes the position of CEO at Goldman, he will have logged nearly 20 years of experience at the company since joining as a partner in 1999. Since that time, Solomon has worked as both Global Head of the Financing Group, including all capital markets and derivative products for corporate clients of the firm. He has also been Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division, between 2006 and 2016. Solomon, who is 56 years old, is known for broad interests outside of the financial world, according to Bloomberg; he is passionate about skiing and wine and even produces music under the DJ handle D-Sol, with more than 535,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
"Never Been More Optimistic"
In announcing his retirement, Blankfein expressed "deep appreciation for the opportunity to work with and benefit from so many talented and dedicated colleagues," according to the press release. He added that "our firm has demonstrated great resiliency and strength over the last 12 years," and that he has "never been more optimistic about our ability to serve our clients effectively and generate industry-leading returns."
About Solomon, Blankfein said that "David is the right person to lead Goldman Sachs. He has demonstrated a proven ability to build and grow businesses, identified creative ways to enhance our culture and has put clients at the center of our strategy. Through the talent of our people and the quality of our client franchise, Goldman Sachs is poised to realize the next stage of growth."
According to Lead Director of Goldman's Board of Directors, Adebayo O. Ogunlesi, "The Board has been engaged in a multi-year succession process, and [they] are confident that David will build off the firm's strong financial, risk management and franchise position. His drive, focus on our clients and effective management skills will be critical strengths as he charts the firm's strategy in the years to come."
For his part, Solomon says he is "honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead Goldman Sachs," adding in his appreciation for "the confidence Lloyd and the Board of Directors have placed in me." Solomon is "excited about the opportunities for growth," saying he recognizes "how vital our culture of client service and teamwork is to [the firm's] success."