David Solomon, president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs & Co (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Goldman to Name New Class of Partners After Wave of Senior Exits

(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is set to announce its class of partners this week, naming the bankers who will join a group that looks much different than it did just a few years ago.

More than a third of the bank’s partners in 2014 have since left, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the tally of partners, currently more than 400, always fluctuates, the handoff to new Chief Executive Officer David Solomon this year has brought its own turnover in the firm’s top ranks.

Since taking over in October, Solomon has filled many roles with his closest aides from the investment-banking division, which he ran for a decade. Meanwhile, some partners who had worked with former CEO Lloyd Blankfein for years have left the bank. On his first day as chief financial officer on Monday, Stephen Scherr sought to reassure investors that the reorganization is leading to growth opportunities.

Goldman to Name New Class of Partners After Wave of Senior Exits

“There have been a number of other departures on the back of this leadership team -- none of that is surprising,” he said Monday at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Future of Financials 2018 Conference in New York. “This gives rise to opportunity and that’s been embraced. And I think there’s a more upbeat and engaged tone among our people by virtue of it.”

The exits have been concentrated at the top: Half the firm’s management committee -- its most senior leadership group -- has turned over in the four-year period. And since Solomon’s selection as Blankfein’s successor, many high-profile exits have come from the trading business.

Those departures include Pablo Salame and Isabelle Ealet, two of the three co-heads of trading at the time, and John Willian, global head of fixed-income, currencies and commodities sales.

Solomon has been pushing to shrink the size of partner classes, and the total is likely to be smaller than in 2016, when 84 people were promoted, according to a person familiar with the matter. Part of the push comes because Goldman has been hiring more partners from outside the bank, a break from the firm’s traditional approach. The company has made more than a dozen such hires over the past year. Even Solomon arrived that way, joining the bank as a partner almost 20 years ago.

While Goldman Sachs hasn’t been a true partnership since its initial public offering in 1999, it has kept the title of partner for cultural reasons. The promotions take place every two years, with partners typically receiving a $950,000 salary and the opportunity to invest in private funds.

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