Goldman names Solomon, Schwartz as Cohn's successors

The elevation of Solomon and Schwartz returns the firm to a co-president management structure, in which both men will be competing to replace the CEO.

Published: 14th December 2016 10:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2016 10:40 PM   |  A+A-

David Solomon, Managing Director and Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division, Goldman Sachs. (File Photo | Reuters)

By Reuters

NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Wednesday named company veterans David Solomon and Harvey Schwartz presidents and co-chief operating officers to succeed Gary Cohn, who is set to head the White House National Economic Council.

The Wall Street investment bank said Chief Information Officer R. Martin (Marty) Chavez would replace Schwartz as chief financial officer at the end of April.

The elevation of Solomon and Schwartz returns the firm to a co-president management structure, in which both men will be competing to replace Goldman Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein.

Cohn was widely considered Blankfein's heir apparent and his departure opens up the field to other senior executives. It also likely shows Blankfein intends to remain CEO for several more years.

Solomon, a Bear Stearns veteran who joined Goldman in 1999, has co-headed its investment banking division since 2006. He previously headed the company's financing group, which includes capital markets and derivatives work for corporate clients.

Solomon is best known for his behind-the-scenes work with Goldman's top clients and has helped expand the firm's dealmaking and capital-raising business.

Schwartz began his career in Goldman's J. Aron commodities division, where Blankfein and Cohn also started. Schwartz was co-head of the company's trading division before becoming CFO in 2013.

Chavez has been responsible for building out Goldman's technology division, where he oversees 9,000 computer engineers. With a doctorate from Stanford and a master's degree in computer science from Harvard University, he developed Goldman's Marquee internal software system and has been a proponent of the once-secretive company becoming more transparent by opening up its technology to clients.

Goldman has historically split the role of president, a position considered to be next in line to CEO, between two executives. But that tension has often resulted in senior departures.

Cohn had shared the president and COO positions with Jon Winkelried, who left the firm in 2009.

John Thain and John Thornton also split the role of second-in-command under former CEO Hank Paulson. Thornton left the firm in 2003 after it became clear that Paulson would be staying on longer than expected.

Thain left Goldman in 2004 to head the New York Stock Exchange as Blankfein was named president, and two years later, CEO.


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