Goldman Sachs Group (GS) has reportedly identified president and chief operating officer David Solomon as successor to Lloyd Blankfein, who is slated to step down as the chief executive officer by year-end. The investment banking firm is scheduled to release its second-quarter results Tuesday and is expected to announce the leadership change on the same day.
The leadership change will be crucial for the bank, which was developed into one of the largest Wall Street companies in terms of profitability by Blankfein during his career spanning 12 years. What makes Solomon the lone candidate for the CEO post is the abrupt departure of former chief financial officer Harvey Schwartz a few months ago.
Blankfein, who has been credited with leading the bank through the financial crisis that devastated the banking industry more than a decade ago, is one of the longest-serving CEOs in the sector. Solomon’s name has been doing the rounds for the top post ever since he assumed the role of president a couple of months ago.
According to reports, Solomon will work closely with Blankfein in the coming months to acquire a deeper understanding of his responsibilities, once the bank officially announces the succession plan, tentatively in the third quarter.
Solomon’s career at Goldman Sachs took a turn when he was appointed co-head of the investment bank in 2006 while functioning as a partner in the leveraged finance team, a position he had held since joining the bank in 1999. Around 10 years later, he was promoted as co-president and later as president.
When Solomon takes control of the top financial services firm, his main focus will be on taking forward the initiatives aimed at venturing into consumer banking, amidst continuing softness in the equity trading division. One of the key tasks Solomon will be inheriting from his predecessor is to enhance the customer experience by ensuring proper coordination between various divisions.
Analysts expect Goldman Sachs to report higher earnings and revenues for its second-quarter. The consensus estimate is for $4.85 per share on revenues of $8.58 billion. Shares of the bank gained slightly in premarket trading Monday in the run-up to the earnings release and continued to trade in the green during the morning trading session.
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