When it first emerged that David Solomon, the 55-year-old co-president of Goldman Sachs, was also known as electronic dance music DJ D-Sol who spends his weekends entertaining bikini-clad 20-somethings at nightclubs in the Bahamas, it was thought to be something of a smear campaign amid a power-struggle at the bank. “It looks like someone is trying to make David look silly,” an anonymous Goldman executive told The Times of London.
In a public attempt to throw its support behind Solomon, Goldman has interviewed him on its podcast, talking about his career, views on passive investing and technology...and his weekends DJing, which include nights at The Whales, at Asian-fusion nightclub on New York's Lower East Side. Business Insider has picked up the interview.
While it's easy to mock a man in his 50s spinning some tunes at night spots predominantly attended by Millennials, you can't say that Solomon hasn't done his research. In the Goldman interview, he talks as though it was something of a business opportunity. "And five, seven years ago, I started really kind of taking note of club and EDM music and what was happening with all the electronic music, and I said: This is really interesting. Big business," he said.
"I think this year I just saw a statistic that 63% of all music is being consumed in a streaming form now," Solomon said. "The ability to kind of curate, study, listen to, try different things, expand your horizons, it just went up exponentially."
Solomon is not doing it for the money, though. He describes it as a "hobby" and said that when he started out researching this "big business", he thought: "You know, I like some of this music."
More to the point, his hobby gives him a release from the pressures of a senior banking job.
"If you can't find a way to have passions and pursue those passions and mix them into your professional life and your personal life in some way, shape or form, it's just harder to have the energy to keep on doing this, and to keep moving forward professionally," he said.
Separately, mentoring has been flipped on its head within banks and other organisations. Inga Beale, CEO of insurance market Lloyd's of London, has told the New York Times that her 19-year-old mentor leaves her "inspired" and has a "totally different perspective". Juniors mentoring managing directors is also happening at Deutsche Bank, and it's feeding into hiring decisions at the bank.
David Watson, a 38-year-old managing director within Deutsche Bank's digital cash products business says that interacting with a 29-year-old engineer called Fernando Hernandez, who works within the bank's investment banking tech team, is like "reconnecting with your lost youth".
Hernandez has reportedly offered tips for retention of younger workers, like offering more flexible working from home arrangements and spotting tech trends. "It's valuable information. When you're making decisions about budgets, or priorities, or hiring, you can actually put into practice what you've learned."
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