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All Roads Lead to Goldman Sachs

All Roads Lead to Goldman Sachs
by Rob Kirby | February 16, 2010
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Once upon a time, Goldman Sachs shunned publicity. During the period from 1930 to 1969, Sydney Weinberg ran Goldman Sachs where he developed a staunch corporate cultural aversion to publicity. During the 1970s, a tandem of John Weinberg and John Whitehead assumed the reigns of leadership at Goldman Sachs. Whitehead left the company in 1984 to enter public life. John Weinberg carried on in the same vein as his father Sydney – shunning publicity – to the point where he hired a man to keep his name and his firm's out of the press. He kept him off the full-time payroll (though he sat full-time at a desk in head office) so that if, improbably, a comment did slip out, it could be honestly dismissed as not coming from a Goldman Sachs employee. John Weinberg served as sole senior partner and chairman until 1990. His mantra was to put the client’s interests first and he wouldn’t allow Goldman to be involved hostile takeovers.

The culture at Goldman Sachs dramatically changed in 1990 when operational control of the firm was ceded to Robert Rubin and Stephen Friedman. This tandem became the Co-Senior Partners in 1990 and re focused the firm on globalization and strengthening the Merger & Acquisition and Trading business lines.

Since this cultural shift in 1990, Goldman, its employees and alumni have been attracting HEAPS of public attention – much of it unflattering – owing to allegations and / or public perceptions of frontrunning, government patronage / favoritism and conflict of interests with clients. As the following biographical sketches attest – Goldman Sachs has become not only a world renowned financial juggernaught but also highly influential in areas that transcend finance.

High Profile Goldman Associates – Notable or Notorious?

John Whitehead – Had a 38 year career at Goldman Sachs - he retired in 1984 as Co-Chairman and Co-Senior Partner. He served as United States Deputy Secretary of State in Ronald Reagan's administration from 1985 to 1989 under George Shultz, and was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Reagan. In 1996, he was the campaign chairman for Michael Benjamin who ran for a seat in New York's 8th congressional district. He is former Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the United Nations Association, and a former Chairman of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Harvard Board of Overseers. He is a former director of the New York Stock Exchange and Chairman Emeritus of The Brookings Institution.
Robert Rubin - served as the 70th United States Secretary of the Treasury during both the first and second Clinton administrations. Before his government service, he spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs serving as a member of the Board, and Co-Chairman from 1990-1992.

Henry Paulson - as the 74th United States Treasury Secretary. He previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs.

John Thain -

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