Goldman Sachs Group, Inc

Company: The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Founder: Marcus Goldman

Industry: Investment Banking and Asset Management

History:

Marcus Goldman, a German immigrant of Jewish lineage, founded the company in 1869. Although Goldman Sachs was known for its prominence in the world of investment banking, the company’s initial enterprise was marketing paper for commercial use.

The company’s success prompted the New York Stock Exchange to invite the company to join them in 1896. It was also during this phase that Goldman’s son-in-law Samuel Sachs joined the company, and the name was changed to Goldman Sachs.

Aside from managing the company in the early 20th century, Goldman was also a vital factor in creating the Initial Public Offering market. A series of success followed the company after.

However, Sidney Weinberg took the role of senior partner in 1930 and changed the company’s focus to investment banking. It was also under Weinberg’s leadership that Goldman Sachs ventured into risk arbitrage. The company was one of the pioneering enterprises to enter into such a chancy enterprise.

Gus Levy joined Goldman Sachs in 1950. With him on board, Goldman Sachs enjoyed many successes in block trading, a scheme developed by Levy. With Levy’s influence growing, tension between Levy and Weinberg grew and rivalry between investment banking (Weinberg) and securities trading (Levy) sprang within the company.

In 1969, Levy wrested the senior partnership from Weinberg and further expanded the company in terms of assets, securities, and profits. In the same year, Weinberg retired from the company.

Sidney Weinberg’s son John Weinberg, together with John C. Whitehead, took the roles of Co-Senior Partners in 1976, which led to another dual leadership like that of Sidney Weinberg’s and Gus Levy’s. One of their notable contributions to the banking world is the formulation of the 14 Business Principles, which are widely adopted by several banking and business firms up to this day.

Presently, Goldman Sachs is active in advising and making broker deals in an effort to privatize major highways.

Leadership:

  • Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman & CEO
  • Gary Cohn, President & COO
  • Jon Winkelried, President and COO
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