Gary Cohn

The theme Mr. Cohn kept returning to was the primacy of clients. Asked what his daily routine looked like, his answer was simple. “The most important thing I do is deal with clients, client situations and opportunities for the firm,” he said. Mr. Cohn, a former trader, also said he had become a “better listener.” Still, Mr. Cohn retains something of an edge. When his father asks him how the market is doing, Mr. Cohn sometimes responds, “Which one?” even though he knows it’s unlikely his father would inquire about one of the many esoteric markets he works in, he said. [Dealbook]

  • 01 Mar 2013 at 4:14 PM

If You Cut A Gary Cohn, Does He Not Bleed?

Recent public remarks by Blankfein that he will stay at his job “for awhile” stung both Cohn and [vice-chairman Michael] Evans, who would like him out sooner so they can have their chance at the top, these people add. Cohn recently told FOX Business he’s content in his current role, and Evans has kept a low profile in recent months as both Blankfein and Cohn have been reaching out to the press. The charm offensive is designed to reverse years of bad publicity concerning Goldman’s role in the 2008 financial crisis and charges that the firm had taken advantage of clients during this time. But Blankfein’s comments touched off even more jockeying between the two men to gain support among the firm’s powerful ranks of “partners”, or senior executives, to emerge as Blankfein’s eventual replacement, these people say. One person close to Goldman said Evans was particularly shaken by Blankfein’s statements, and as a result he might be considering his options outside the firm if Blankfein signals he will stay at the top indefinitely. [FBN, earlier]

David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital: “Cranberry sauce — not from the can, just cranberries and sugar.” Julian Robertson, Tiger Management: “Wild rice.” Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs: “Oysters — not shucked by me.” Glenn Dubin, Highbridge Capital Management: “I love turkey. I would love to eat turkey all year round, because I’m a chicken person.” David Hasselhoff, actor: “I miss the dish my mother used to make: it was green beans, with a layer of marshmallows, and corn flakes on top.” [Bloomberg via LaurenTaraLaCapra, RELATED]

“Of course I would like to be CEO of Goldman Sachs, but I am very happy in the role and job I’m in now and I’ve a great job and a great opportunity in front of me. I am very happy doing what I am doing.” Read more »

Are you among the people who mistakenly believe working for Goldman Sachs has lost its luster? That the youth of America no longer spend nights dreaming about what it’d be like to bask in the glow of Lloyd Blankfein? That a guy who couldn’t tie his shoes ’til he was 22 was able to ruin the picture they had their minds of what it would be like to one day, if they worked really hard, have Gary Cohn hike up one leg, plant his foot on a their desk, his thigh close to their face, and ask how markets were doing? Then you don’t have a clue. Read more »

Matt and Ben. Penn and Teller. Bert and Ernie. Gary and Lloyd. As those who keep up on the bromances of Wall Street know, Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn are the absolute best of buds. While their relationship started out as a work thing back in 1990, when Cohn was hired as a metals trader and “became Blankfein’s corporate problem solver,” in the twenty plus years since it’s moved far beyond that to include hanging on weekends, family vacations, and wives who are also tight. According to a 2010 profile, Cohn isn’t so much LB’s righthand man as he is a part of him, having been introduced to people on at least one occasion as simply “Lloyd’s best friend.” And while their bond was no doubt strengthened by weathering the financial crisis and the Goldman haters together, as bosom buddies who are always there for each other and would do anything for one another, be it taking a bullet, donating a kidney, or just calling to talk about nothing, lately there has supposedly been a little friction. Read more »

Greg Smith is a Goldman Sachs “executive director” and “head of equity derivatives” in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. And, as you may have heard, today is his last day at the firm. Greg had a speech prepared for the big announcement, which he stayed up all night writing and planned to deliver on the trading floor at noon, but assuming security has other ideas, we volunteered to relay his story. A word of advice: brace yourselves.

Why is Greg resigning from Goldman Sachs? To understand why he’s leaving, you have to know what it was like when he got here, twelve years ago.

It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization.

For a while, Greg loved Goldman Sachs! And the feeling was mutual, otherwise they obviously would not have bestowed him the great honor of being “selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on the recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world.” Shortly after the cameras rolled and he got his star turn, though, things began to change. And not in a good way. Greg suddenly noticed that the culture that made him “love working for this firm” was gone. He no longer had “the pride, or the belief.” The moment of truth? When he realized he “could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.” It didn’t matter how great a performance he gave in those videos. It didn’t matter that audiences would ask if he really worked for Goldman or if they’d hired an actor, as he appeared to have been classically trained. It didn’t matter that his recruiting DVD had been nominated for several trade awards. It didn’t matter because Greg had seen too much. Read more »