Michael Sherwood Says Toodles To Goldman Sachs

Potential Blankfein successor now out of the running.
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Goldman's co-head of European operations in London, the handsomely paid Michael Sherwood, is doing a little Brexit of his own and leaving the firm in the coming year.

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The FT has the story.

Michael Sherwood, Goldman Sachs’s co-head of Europe, is quitting the investment bank after a three-decade career in which he became one of the industry’s highest earners but was embroiled in a recent spat over BHS, the failed UK retailer.

Often listed as one of the potential successors to Lloyd Blankfein for the top job at Goldman, Mr Sherwood joined the bank at the age of 20 and has overseen rapid growth in its European operations since taking joint charge of them 11 years ago.

Woody, as he's called by other members of his tax bracket, was for years a top entry in the list of possible successors to Lloyd Blankfein. His accomplishments included building up Goldman's shop across the pond from a dinky little loss-making trading desk to a full-fledged investment banking powerhouse – in the process scandalizing the City of London over his multimillion-dollar bonuses.

Fat Mike, as the non-FT British press calls him, pulled in $21 million last year, and has Goldman stock worth another $76 million. He plans to spend the next six months at the bank in order to help with the transition process.

Though Sherwood assured the FT that his parting was amicable, a cloud has hovered over his London office ever since Sherwood helped his buddy Sir Philip Green sell the chain store BHS in 2015. A year later the retailer imploded. Sherwood was hauled before a parliamentary committee over the affair.

“I wish we hadn’t been involved and I certainly don’t think we did anything wrong,” Sherwood told the FT. “It is one blip in a 30-year career and it really played no part in my decision.”

The upshot: Time for the Goldmanites out there to rejigger their Lloyd Succession Plan charts.

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