Now that Harvey Schwartz is definitely retiring from Goldman Sachs, that Lloyd Blankfein is probably retiring from Goldman Sachs and that Gary Cohn has already retired from Goldman Sachs, David Solomon is the last man standing. As and when Lloyd Blankfein leaves, Solomon looks likely to be the next CEO.
This is what a GS run by DJ D-Sol will be like.
Whereas Schwartz had a reputation for being a little prickly, Solomon is a consummate charmer. He studied at Hamilton, a small liberal arts college, and in a podcast last September, he said the most valuable thing he learned at college was how to communicate. In this sense, Solomon is similar to Blankfein, who's also an arch communicator. Solomon's "actually a really good guy" according to bankers who've worked with him: he's considered, "a great leader...he knows how to inspire, manage and lead other professionals."
Solomon is known for his side-gig as a dance music DJ. Once a month, he plays out at venues in NYC and around the world.
"I've always loved music," he said in the same podcast, adding that it's something he's really "passionate about" and that in a demanding industry like banking you need side passions to keep going. "It's a marathon and not a sprint.... if you can't find way to have passions and mix them into your personal life it's just hard to have the energy," said Sol.
Solomon was behind Goldman's introduction of "restricted weekends" for junior bankers in 2013.
"When I was in my 20s and someone said, "Jump!," I said, "How high?"", he said. As a result of this work ethic, Solomon said his network of friends "got smaller not wider," and that friendships fell away. Based on his experience with his own children, Solomon said banks can't operate like this any more: "I look at my kids in their 20s today and they have hundreds and hundrds of friends... If you want to retain people they have to have a top quality experience... You need to crate an atmosphere where people can work hard but they also have opportunities to have a life."
In a post on Goldman's own site in 2016, Solomon said he does an hour of yoga with his daughter on Sunday evenings, walked his children to school when they were younger, and ate with them in the evenings.
In September's podcast, Solomon said it's important for leaders at organizations like Goldman to be seen to have good lives if they want to attract young people to work with them. "People look at the way leaders are living and they they say, "Do I want to live like that?", he said.
Solomon didn't work at Goldman straight from college. He joined Goldman from Bear Stearns in 1999 and came straight in as a partner. Ex-banker and author William Cohan says Solomon is, "just a mongrel...He’s not a thoroughbred from Goldman Sachs.” After long years of growing talent in-house Goldman has already begun increasing its top-level hiring from other banks. If it's led by a mongrel from Bear Stearns, any remaining qualms about hiring top level insiders are likely to disappear.
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