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Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

David Solomon: Goldman Sachs Next CEO?

David Solomon: Goldman Sachs Next CEO?

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.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc said today that Harvey Schwartz will retire from the bank, leaving David Solomon as sole president and chief operating officer and the most obvious successor to Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein. With the formal announcement of the move on Monday, Solomon's chief rival for the job, Harvey Schwartz, abruptly announced his resignation.

Solomon, prior to being tapped co-president in December 2016, worked for a decade as co-head of investment banking.

Vertical Group analyst Dick Bove, who sharply criticized Blankfein's leadership of Goldman, said selecting Solomon would position the bank for new opportunities amid changing United States policies on taxes, trade and potentially fiscal stimulus.

Solomon doesn't sound like your typical bank CEO.

"Harvey's work ethic, command of complexity, and client focus have defined his career at the firm", said Mr Blankfein.

The unexpected announcement that Schwartz will retire eliminates a presumptive CEO candidate with a strong trading background and comes as Goldman Sachs has been trying to reinvent itself after market trends and regulations sapped profits from its once-lucrative trading business.

Solomon, 55, joined Goldman Sachs in 1999 as a partner, one of the most coveted roles on Wall Street and a clear sign of his seniority at the time. "The need for investment banking and lending from large financial institutions will grow", Bove said.

"I look forward to continuing to work closely with David in building our franchise around the world", Blankfein, 63, said in the statement.

Shares of Goldman Sachs finished up 1.0 percent to $273.38. In recent years, he has played an important role in revamping the investment bank's junior-banker policies and helped lead Goldman's efforts to build the ultimate financial destination for the masses under its Marcus brand.

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