David Viniar Stands By His Man

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Perhaps some of you remember Jon Winkelried? The former Goldman Sachs co-president is persona non grata at the firm but for the purposes of context, a quick refresh: Winkelried was the good for nothing prick who abandoned Lloyd Blankfein when the CEO needed him most, and when it would look most bad for the company to have a high level departure (circa the shit hitting the fan era). A traitorous shrew, really, who let deaf ears fall on Blankfein's pleas to stay, and who traded it all in for a bunch of barnyard animals.

Anywho, Goldman ended up getting on just fine with out he whose name shall not be mentioned, got on great in fact, but his actions did leave a lasting mark on Blankfein, namely that he lost the ability to open up and trust high level execs and that his previously dormant abandonment issues flared up like nobody's business. So when there was talk of Goldman CFO David "Bones" Viniar retiring, Lloyd naturally panicked. But apparently it was for naught. Bones would never do that to his li'l fella.

Viniar, a three-decade Goldman veteran, dubbed "Bones" while on the Union College basketball team, considered one of the brightest financial minds on Wall Street, told a handful of close associates as recently as last year about his desire to retire -- but then quickly put those plans on the back burner when Wall Street's most profitable firm ran into turbulence...Sources familiar with the matter say Viniar's earlier plan would have had him stepping down to pursue other interests as early as this year. But those plans changed as it could be seen by the outside world that one of the firm's top officers was abandoning ship. "David is very much a team player and he'll do whatever the firm asks of him," said one source. Added a second source: "He's so loyal he's only going to do anything when the timing is appropriate."

That, and after the Winkelried incident, Lloyd had every employee's gold-plated pair equipped ankle monitoring bracelet style. But the loyalty, that helped too.

Viniar Stays Put [NYP]

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David Viniar's Work Here Is Done

Back in 2009, Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer David Viniar, whose face may not be as recognizable to you as that of Lloyd's but whose voice you've likely found just as if not more soothing each time you hear it during the firm's earnings calls, decided he was ready to move on after a three-plus decade long career with The Firm. Normally, that would have been just fine; people would have wished Viniar all the best as he happily waved good-bye to all his colleagues and friends from the gondola lift made of fluffy clouds and money that transports all Goldman Sachs executives to retirement. Unfortunately for DV, however, it was around the time that he started to think about leaving that Goldman hit some unfortunate rough patches that included "a civil fraud suit by the Securities and Exchange Commission over marketing of mortgage-related securities, a federal criminal probe on the same matter, and a civil suit brought by a hedge fund that bought a Goldman CDO." And while other higher-ups-- no names: Jon Winkelried-- would have thought nothing of abandoning Lloyd in his time of need or what kind of message it would have sent that a top official was calling it quits, David "Bones" Viniar is  a little more loyal than that. Lot more loyal in fact ("He's so loyal he's only going to do anything when the timing is appropriate," one person said at the time, adding that "David will do whatever the firm asks of him") and so he stayed. Stayed by Lloyd's side during his darkest hour. Stayed when the Goldman needed him most. And although some might have hoped he'd forget about wanting to leave; that he could be tricked into staying "just one more year" and another and another and another after that; that that good-bye he put on hold would stay on hold forever; that, if all else failed, Gary Cohn could put him in a sleeper hold with his legs...that good-bye has come. Goldman Sachs today announced that Harvey M. Schwartz, the global co-head of the Securities Division, will become Chief Financial Officer at the end of January 2013. After a distinguished 32 year career at the firm, including 12 years as the Chief Financial Officer, David Viniar has decided to retire and will join the Board of Directors as a non-independent director at that time. The firm expects to appoint additional independent directors to its board in the near term. David Viniar retiring as Goldman CFO [FT Alphaville] Related: David Viniar Stands By His Man

Area Man Recounts Brush With Greatness

In this case, greatness being Lloyd Blankfein's glistening, stark-naked body. Mr. Smith outlines moments when he came into close contact with Goldman’s chairman and chief executive, according to pages reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Smith tells of one near-encounter when he saw Mr. Blankfein, sans clothes, after taking a shower at the gym. Mr. Blankfein was “air-drying,” Mr. Smith writes, something Mr. Smith took not as a display of power but as something men of an older generation tend to do. Another up-close-and-personal moment with the big boss came when Mr. Blankfein and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chief Executive Warren Buffett walked through the Goldman trading floor the day after Mr. Buffett’s $5 billion investment as Goldman was reeling in 2008. In the book, Mr. Smith says he had a co-worker snap a photo as he stood near Mr. Buffett. Greg Smith: I Saw Blankfein Naked [Deal Journal]