Goldman’s Abby Joseph Cohen, Known for Bullish Stock-Market Calls, to Retire
(Bloomberg) -- Abby Joseph Cohen, the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. senior investment strategist whose upbeat stock-market forecasts made her one of the faces of the 1990s bull market, will retire at the end of the year.
“Abby played a critical role in expanding our global investment research franchise around the world and served the division in numerous leadership roles,” said Jan Hatzius, head of the global investment research division and the firm’s chief economist. “She has been an influential presence at the firm and across the financial industry.”
Cohen, 69, has been pulling back from her responsibilities at Goldman for several years, retiring as president of the firm’s Global Market Institute in 2017. At the time, she handed off most of her management and administrative duties while continuing to counsel clients and other groups through the New York-based firm.
In January, Cohen will become a professor at New York’s Columbia Business School.
In the first part of her three-decade career at Goldman, Cohen developed a reputation by predicting the bull market of the 1990s, earning Institutional Investor’s top-strategist ranking in 1998 and 1999. The period turned into the first technology boom, and Cohen’s prominence rose as she called it.
“Getting the markets of the 1990s correct was very satisfying, obviously,” Cohen said in 2017. “But the reason for getting it right was even more satisfying, and that was recognizing that there were structural changes under way in the U.S. economy.”
In March 2000, at what would be the top of the market, Cohen recommended that clients reduce their exposure to stocks, including tech firms, for the first time since January 1999. The resulting stock weakness was labeled the “Abby Effect” by the Wall Street Journal.
While Cohen wasn’t exactly bearish, she was less bullish than she had been. As the bursting of the dot-com bubble and Sept. 11 terrorist attacks sank the U.S. into recession, Cohen, like many others, was known for having missed it. She also failed to foresee the 2008 financial crisis, and handed over duties as chief investment strategist to David Kostin the same month Bear Stearns Cos. collapsed.
Cohen began her career as an economist at the Federal Reserve, going on to work for firms including Drexel Burnham Lambert, before joining Goldman Sachs in 1990. She was named a partner in 1998. Cohen has an undergraduate degree in economics from Cornell University, where she also studied computer science, and a master’s degree in economics from George Washington University.
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