Wrench Dangling Above Goldman’s Succession Plan
Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein seems more chipper than he’s been in years. Scandals have subsided, the challenge to his chairman role died quietly and the business is returning to health, particularly when compared to the plight of other financial firms. Judging by all the signs, Blankfein is going nowhere anytime soon, and that’s reportedly not sitting well with his presumed successor, Gary Cohn, the COO of investment banking and securities at Goldman.
Dubbing him the “Prince Charles” of Wall Street, the New York Times details an “increasingly restless” Cohn, one chomping at the bit for his chance to run the investment bank. Company insiders told the Times that they’ve begun to wonder how long Cohn will wait for Blankfein, 58, to retire.
Cohn’s reported frustration has likely been buoyed by recent comments made by Blankfein signaling his reluctance to hand the seat to someone else. He once joked he’d like to die at his desk, and in December said that he hasn’t had the feeling that many executives do when they know it’s the right time to step aside. Blankfein also just received an enormous pay package last year – $26 million – which provides some added incentive to stick around.
If Cohn leaves, which still appears unlikely, Goldman may have to change gears on the fly. Blankfein said last year that he is “close to 100%” sure that the next chief executive of Goldman currently works at the firm. The chances are quite strong that he was alluding to Cohn, a longtime colleague and a close friend. If Cohn gets fed up and leaves, what’s Goldman’s backup plan?
Accountants have been struggling with the decision for decades. Do you look to find work at one of the Big Four powerhouses or settle into a job in the private industry? Really, it all about you.
The key to turning around the economy? You and I need to turn our frown upside down. "Less negative reporting and less negativity," said Goldman’s Blankfein when asked how to change the sentiment surrounding the economy. I’ll do my best but no promises.
Traders with deep pockets are paying for the privilege to gain early access to market-moving data. Thomson Reuters is one of the sellers, and it appears to be legal.
With Stephen Hester out as chief executive at RBS, the search for his replacement has begun. While no real frontrunner has emerged, Standard Chartered Chief Financial Officer Richard Meddings and RBS head of risk Nathan Bostock appear worthy candidates. Whoever inherits the job will be facing around 2,000 new enemies.
Jefferies Group has poached high-yield bond trader Brian Zucker from Barclays. A nice coup for Jefferies.
J.P. Morgan Chief Risk Officer John Hogan, who took a personal leave in January, is coming back to the firm but in a different capacity. He’ll assume a newly created job as chairman of risk and will join J.P. Morgan’s operating committee, but will likely act as more of a stopgap.
Buzz Around the Office
If you’ve ever dreamed of making a citizen’s arrest for illegal parking, congratulations – your time has come. A company in Winnipeg has designed a "spotsquad" app that enables pedestrians to snap photos of parking violations and send them to police. Snitchers would get a share of the fine.
List of the Day: Sharing a Room
Most companies don’t force employees to share rooms on business trips. If you’re one of the unlucky ones, follow these rules.
- Spend as much time out of the room as you can.
- Change in the bathroom.
- Download a white noise app for sleeping.