Goldman Sachs Celebrates 25 Years as a Public Company, Charts New Course under CEO Solomon

Goldman Sachs, a big investment bank on Wall Street, recently celebrated 25 years since it became a public company. Before that, it was a private partnership for over 130 years, with 221 partners.

Only three people, including Lloyd Blankfein, have been CEO since the bank went public. Blankfein talked about how they managed to keep the bank’s unique partner culture, even after becoming a public company.

To mark the occasion, the bank set up a replica of the New York Stock Exchange balcony for its employees to connect with its history.

Changes and Challenges in Being Public

When Goldman Sachs went from being a private partnership to a public company, it meant they had to be more accountable to outside shareholders. This was a bit tough for the bank’s staff at first.

Goldman Sachs Celebrates 25 Years as a Public Company
Transition to public status brought accountability shifts, though early disclosure was challenging.

They weren’t used to sharing so much information, even jokingly saying that telling the weather was too much detail, as David Viniar, the former CFO, once put it. Critics, like Mike Mayo from Wells Fargo, said the bank wasn’t transparent enough after going public.

But when compared to other banks like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, which went bankrupt during the financial crisis, Goldman’s transparency wasn’t much worse.

Changes in Strategy and Dealing with Shareholders

Since David Solomon took over as CEO in 2018, Goldman Sachs has been trying to be more open and friendly to its shareholders.

CEO David Solomon emphasized transparency, and strategic shifts away from risky trading post-2008 crisis. (Credits: The CEO Publication)

They’ve held their first investor day and Solomon has been talking with shareholders in quarterly results calls. The bank has also changed its strategies, moving away from risky trading after the 2008 financial crisis.

Instead, they’ve focused on more stable ways of making money. While they tried to get into lending to regular people with services like Marcus and buying GreenSky, they faced challenges and shifted their focus back to managing assets and wealth.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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