Goldman Sachs Clears the Way for a Succession Plan

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) shares are seeing a nice bump on start out the week after a succession plan was confirmed with the investment bank. Although this was already hinted at by The Wall Street Journal last week, Goldman Sachs seemingly confirmed it Monday morning.

The bank announced that Harvey Schwartz, the firm’s president and co-chief operating officer, has decided to retire effective April 20. David Solomon will serve as sole president and chief operating officer of the firm upon Harvey’s retirement.

The key takeaway from this is that this move also paves the way for David Solomon to take over CEO duties from Lloyd Blankfein, when he eventually decides to step down.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Blankfein would most likely retire, on his own terms, ahead of Goldman Sachs’ 150th anniversary in 2019, or early that year. When asked about the article, Blankfein joked about it, but neither confirmed nor denied.

Blankfein, board chair as well as chief executive, commented:

Over his 20-year career at Goldman Sachs, Harvey has held leadership roles across a broad range of the firm’s operations – from Securities and Investment Banking to the Executive Office, where he served as Chief Financial Officer; and most recently, as President and Co-Chief Operating Officer. Harvey’s work ethic, command of complexity, and client focus have defined his career at the firm. Harvey has been a mentor to many, and his influence has made an indelible impact on generations of professionals at Goldman Sachs. I want to thank Harvey for all he’s done for the firm.

Shares of Goldman Sachs were last seen up 0.8% at $272.80, with a consensus analyst price target of $268.71 and a 52-week trading range of $209.62 to $275.31.