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Another Former Goldman Sachs Employee Would Like To Be Reimbursed For His Legal Fees, Please

Make that out to Joseph Jiampietro, with J, thanks.
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Once upon a time, being named a vice-president of Goldman Sachs actually meant something and signified you were an important, senior-ish member of the firm. Then the bank started doling out the titles like candy to the tune of 13,000 VPs and it came to mean "not a 2-bit first year analyst, but not much more important than that." A happy byproduct of the title inflation phenomenon was that management could make a whole lot of employees feel like they were a big deal, without having to do much else. An unfortunate byproduct was that it made those same people feel like they were an essential, integral part of the firm to the extent that they were important enough to have their attorney fees paid, should they encounter some legal issues. But such is not the case!

As Sergey Aleynikov will tell you, Goldman Sachs gets to make case-by-case rulings re: which VPs are real/legit VPs and which are VPs only in fake title/get to pay their own legal bills.

(The former have generally allowed themselves to be thrown under the bus to save the firm's ass, while the latter are coders the bank wants to lock up in federal prison even though more than one appeals court has said no dice.)

Now, ex-Goldmanite Joseph Jiampietro gets to find out if that "managing director" title he had on his business card all those years actually meant something or if he was actually a glorified associate and thereby on the hook for $350,000.

Joseph Jiampietro, a onetime managing director at the company’s investment banking division, was fired in 2014 for failing to tell his superiors that an associate who used to work at the Fed e-mailed secret central bank documents to him, according to a complaint filed Thursday in Wilmington, Delaware. Jiampietro maintains he was a Goldman Sachs officer at the time of the government investigation and was therefore entitled to have his attorney fees and expenses paid by the bank as outlined in its by-laws. The federal probe didn’t result in any charges against Jiampietro. The case may hinge on how a judge interprets Jiampietro’s title of managing director. The same Delaware court this month ruled Goldman Sachs wasn’t required to pay the legal fees of Sergey Aleynikov, a former programmer accused of stealing the investment bank’s computer-trading code, simply because his title was vice president. “Goldman Sachs has wrongfully refused to indemnify him for attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred in connection with his successful defense of the investigations,” Jiampietro’s attorney, Adam Ford, said in the complaint.

Goldman Sachs Sued by Ex-Manager Over Fed Secrets Leak Probe [Bloomberg]

Related: Goldman Sachs Gets To Decide Which VPs Are Real VPs And Which Get To Pay Their Own Legal Bills


By Paul Elledge Photography [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Goldman Doesn’t Want To Pay *Its* Legal Fees, Either

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Back in March, a young man named Greg Smith published an Op-Ed in the Times called "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs." Greg wrote that despite joining a firm that, in the beginning, cared about "teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by clients" and not "just about making money," he'd ultimately come to be sickened by a place that, twelve years later, he couldn't even recognize. A place that, on Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn's watch, had lost its way. A place that, he'd come to see, was devoid of any sort of morals, whatsoever. A place that needed to take a long hard look at what it had become. A place that, he predicted, was not long for this earth. Because unlike Smith, whose proudest moments in life-- "being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist and winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics," respectively-- involved hard work and no short cuts, "Goldman Sachs today," Smith wrote, is all "about the shortcuts and not enough about achievements." Goldman Sachs 2.o, one might say, hasn't worked an honest day in its life and that didn't feel right to Smith anymore. The piece, which was said to come as shock to Goldman, did not please many people on the inside, nor did the $1.5 million deal Smith scored shortly thereafter to write Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, out October 22. Here's how Greg's publisher describes WILGS: From the shenanigans of his summer internship during the technology bubble to Las Vegas hot tubs and the excesses of the real estate boom; from the career lifeline he received from an NFL Hall of Famer during the bear market to the day Warren Buffett came to save Goldman Sachs from extinction-Smith will take the reader on his personal journey through the firm, and bring us inside the world's most powerful bank. And while higher-ups at GS may have been initially worried about the potentially damaging revelations that would appear in the book, apparently time, a slap in the face and an order to 'get it together you pustulant milquetoasts' by the ghost of Lucas van Praag has resulted in this delightfully bitchy, exceptionally underminery comment from 200 West: “Every day, some young professional, after a decade in a post-collegiate job, reassesses his or her career and decides to move on and do something else,” David Wells, a Goldman Sachs spokesman said Dealbook in an e-mailed statement. “Others can better judge whether Mr. Smith’s particular career transition is of unique interest.” Regardless of whether or not Goldman is correct in its assessment that Greg's sounds like the story dozens of analyst finishing their first year would tell of the "epic" stuff they witnessed during their 12 months of banking (+previous summer internship, during which things got pretty crazy) or if his particular career transition is indeed of unique interest, Dealbreaker will be hosting an evening of dramatic readings of select chapters, with yet-to-be secured GS alum/raconteur/boulevardier Lucas van Praag standing in for the part of Mr. Smith. Venue and ticket pricing to follow. Former Banker Promises A Peek At Goldman Sachs [Dealbook] Earlier: Resignation Letter Reveals Goldman Sachs Is In The Business Of Making Money, Hires People Who Don’t Know How To Tie Their Shoes; Jewish Ping-Pong Tournament Participant / Sixth-Year Goldman Sachs Vice President Is Looking For His Next Challenge; Goldman Sachs Accuser Greg Smith (Might Have) Lied About That Which He Holds Most Sacred

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