© Reuters. Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO David Solomon speak together during Goldman Sachs analyst impact fund competition at Goldman Sachs Headquarters in New York City, U.S., November 14, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
By Lananh Nguyen and Saeed Azhar
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer David Solomon and his predecessor gave career advice to about 4,000 analysts as junior bankers pitched for grants to be given to charity on Tuesday.
Solomon interviewed former CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who handed over the reins in 2018, for an audience of junior employees and senior partners that drew laughter and smiles in the auditorium at its New York headquarters.
The current CEO invoked Winston Churchill’s philosophy on giving. The former CEO said studying history helped him to better understand economic ebbs and flows.
“There are cycles to everything – we’re in a cycle now,” Blankfein said. “So all of you people feel underused now, get a good night’s sleep, because next year you’re going to be working double time,” he said.
Dan Dees, the bank’s co-head of global banking and markets, jotted down notes as the analysts presented. Blankfein announced the winner.
Goldman partners awarded the $250,000 first-place prize to TalkingPoints, an education nonprofit, after a successful pitch from four analysts from its London office.
Solomon and Blankfein addressed the junior employees a day after they attended a dinner for retired partners in New York.
The CEO and senior executives have met with small groups of partners to discuss the company’s strategy to refocus on the powerhouse global banking and markets division, while growing in asset management, partly to allay concerns about compensation.
In September, Solomon pushed back against a series of press articles citing critics – including current and former employees – who questioned his leadership and strategy.
He told CNBC in an interview at the time it was “not fun” to face personal attacks, and said he did not recognize the caricature that was painted of him in the press.