October 27, 2023 • 5 min read
Happy Friday! If you’re a big fan of Céline Dion, I have the perfect town for you. Some residents of Porirua, New Zealand, have spent the better part of a year blasting the singer’s songs while driving around town at night to win the title of “siren king.”
In today’s big story, we’re taking a deeper look at the number of partner departures at Goldman Sachs under CEO David Solomon.
But first, how many people have left?
Paul Morigi/Getty Images; Jenny Chang-Rodriguez/Insider
Goldman exits, by the numbers
At least 210 Goldman Sachs partners have left on David Solomon’s watch.
Insider came to that number after an exhaustive search of regulatory filings, media reports, and conversations with sources by Dakin Campbell, Emmalyse Brownstein, Walt Hickey, and Kaja Whitehouse.
When broken down by year, that amounts to an average annual departure rate of 43.4, per our calculations, slightly above Goldman’s projections of 30 to 40 annual partner exits. It’s also higher than Insider’s analysis of yearly partner exits during the 14 years before Solomon took over as CEO, which came to 40.4.
Tracking the departure rate of Goldman’s top executives was done to understand the reality — or myth — behind the much-discussed concept of a partner exodus under Solomon.
You can view all 210 names here, along with an analysis of the years they left and what division they were in.
Goldman, for what it’s worth, wasn’t a fan of our work, suggesting there are a “number of discrepancies” in our “back-of-the-napkin math,” per bank spokesperson Tony Fratto.
Samantha Lee/Business Insider
As is always the case with data, there are a few ways to interpret partner departures under Solomon.
The case for Solomon
While partner departures under Solomon have increased, according to our analysis, it hasn’t been a massive bump. The average annual departure rate is up less than 7% during his tenure, per our calculations. And when you factor in how bloated the partnership got under former CEO Lloyd Blankfein — hitting 472 at one point — it’s fair to say some trimming was due.
The highest number of departures also came during Solomon’s first year in charge, which seems normal. New leadership typically leads to more churn as the new boss gets their house in order.
It’s also important to remember Solomon isn’t beholden to partners. As valuable as these executives are, it’s not pre-1999 anymore when partners funded the business. Goldman’s shareholders — not its partners — are the people Solomon has to answer to at the end of the day.
The case against Solomon
With that being said, the partner exits aren’t all easily explained. The departure of newly minted execs — at least two who were named partner in 2022 are already gone — seems particularly troubling.
Goldman also likes to pitch departing partners as an extension of the firm. Former Goldman partners become future Goldman clients, the bank likes to say.
And while that sounds great on paper — and is often the case — it doesn’t always work like that. Consider Omer Ismail, who departed Goldman after being tapped to head its entire consumer business to lead a Walmart-backed fintech and took some top executives with him.
🔔 Before the opening bell: US stock futures rise early Friday as investors look ahead to the PCE reading for September — a key inflation gauge.
CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images
1. The US economy was booming in the third quarter. Real GDP for the quarter rose 4.9% at an annualized rate, more than double the growth in the previous two quarters. However, concerns remain about consumer spending maintaining such a high growth rate, meaning the threat of a recession remains.
2. Wall Street’s reaction to Big Tech earnings. Meta’s stock fell Thursday following comments during the company’s earnings call that indicated softer ad spend at the start of the fourth quarter. Here’s what analysts are saying. But the AI hype among tech giants can’t help the fact that customers are trying to cut costs.
3. Here’s what central bankers are saying ahead of their next meeting. The Fed meets next week to decide what to do with interest rates. These eight quotes from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and other central bankers provide clues regarding their next move.
1. Amazon had a pretty strong third quarter, leading to a bump in its stock. The tech giant’s sales and profit figures beat analyst estimates. Investors were focused on details about how Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days event went.
2. “I quit my high-paying tech job.” Insider spoke with 10 people who shared what it was like to leave well-paying tech jobs. Some bounced from prestigious roles to pursue their passions, while others left the entire tech industry due to burnout.
3. Microsoft jumped headfirst into the AI race — now it’s cashing in. The tech giant’s early investment might already be paying off. One analyst said its success has already reached a “flex the muscles” moment, adding that the tech giant is “controlling the narrative when it comes to AI.”
1. Sam Bankman-Fried took the stand to testify. The judge dismissed the jury before SBF started his testimony. Judge Lewis Kaplan said some of the testimony would occur without the jury present so that he could decide whether it could be used as evidence.
2. A CEO resigned after making remarks on Israel. The Web Summit (former) CEO is a case study on failing to read the room. He received online backlash after appearing to accuse Israel of “war crimes.”
3. Thanks for letting me work from home. Sure, you can monitor my DMs. There’s a gap between in-person and remote employees’ willingness to let companies encroach on their privacy. Sifting through emails, chat messages, and virtual meeting transcripts can help companies better understand what life is like for workers.
Home run! The MLB World Series begins. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers face off in Arlington, Texas.
- A lot of new music is coming out today. Duran Duran is releasing a new album “Danse Macabre,” Taylor Swift is releasing a rewritten album “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” and Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani are releasing a new compilation album “A Tribute to The Judds.”
- Earnings today: ExxonMobil, Chevron, AutoNation, and other companies.
How well do you know the news?
Test your knowledge of the week’s top stories with Insider’s news quiz
From Monday: This type of workout with a weighted backpack has become popular in Silicon Valley.
- From Tuesday: Name the $3 billion edtech darling that threw lavish parties, struggled to vet tutors, and laid off hundreds of staffers.
From Wednesday: An off-duty pilot is being accused of trying to shut off the engines of this airline’s plane mid-flight.
- From Thursday: This infamous crypto founder testified in his criminal trial.
- From Friday: This famous fast-food chain is scrapping an iconic spoon that’s a staple of one of its desserts.
Check Saturday’s edition of Insider Today for the answers.