Goldman Sachs President And Co-COO Harvey Schwartz To Retire

Harvey Schwartz, one of the frontrunners to replace Lloyd Blankfein at the helm of Goldman Sachs, has quit just days after it emerged the chief executive was planning to stand down.

More than a year ago, Solomon and Schwartz were both elevated to the role of president and co-chief operating officer, setting off a competition for the role of CEO.

The question of Blankfein's successor has been a topic of debate across the financial industry since Friday, when the Wall Street Journal reported that the CEO would step down this year.

Goldman, memorably described as a "great vampire squid" in a 2010 Rolling Stone essay, is among the most dominant financial institutions in the world.

On Monday morning Goldman announced that Mr Schwartz would leave the bank after a 20-year career, mostly in the securities division. Blankfein later tweeted the announcement wasn't his.

However, Goldman Sachs has not commented on that report and its statement on Monday made no mention of Blankfein's plans.

The sudden news was a shock on Wall Street, where Schwartz, who shared his titles and the effective No. 2 position at Goldman with David Solomon, was an odds-on favorite among many insiders to be the next leader of the storied bank. When the Journal published its story, Blankfein took to Twitter and said the announcement was like "Huck Finn listening to his own eulogy".

There was no specific reason in the Goldman announcement about why Schwartz made a decision to retire.

Before taking the co-COO role, Solomon had been a cohead of investment banking in NY for a decade.

Blankfein, 63, is one of the longest-serving CEOs at a bulge bracket bank having been in the role for 12 years.

David Solomon may be taking over as the CEO of Goldman Sachs sooner than expected.

Solomon has several pursuits outside of the Wall Street bank.

Solomon, who is turning 56 this year, worked in junk bonds at Bear Stearns before joining Goldman as a partner in 1999, right before the firm's initial public offering. He set up a task force to ease the workload of toiling junior bankers and is known for moonlighting as a DJ at venues in New York, Miami and the Bahamas.

Setting up an investment banker to lead the firm would better align leadership with the bank's focus and highlights the waning influence of the trading business, Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo said.

  • Anthony Vega