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Goldman Sachs' Schwartz retires, paves way for Solomon as next CEO

Reuters 

By Catherine Ngai

(Reuters) - Sachs Group Inc unexpectedly announced on Monday that will retire from the bank, leaving as sole and chief operating officer and the most obvious successor to

Schwartz and Solomon were named in December 2016 in a setup that appeared to pit the two against each other to eventually lead what is viewed as the most powerful U.S. investment

The Wall Street bank's board had discussed choosing a at a meeting in February as part of ongoing succession planning and decided on Solomon, a person familiar with the matter said.

Speculation over the next leader had intensified after reported on Friday that Blankfein, 63, was expected to retire as soon as this year and the was not looking beyond Schwartz and Solomon to replace him. did not comment on that report.

Schwartz's retirement eliminates a candidate with a strong trading background and comes as Sachs has been trying to reinvent itself after market trends and regulations sapped profits from its once-lucrative trading business.

Schwartz, 53, will leave on April 20. He had been of the bank's trading division before being promoted to in 2013, while Solomon, 56, had been a of at Goldman since 2006 until becoming

In September, Schwartz had outlined a target to grow revenue by $5 billion a year, after investors pressured the to be more transparent about its strategy outlook after two quarters of weak trading results.

Setting up an investment to lead the firm would better align leadership with the bank's focus and highlights the waning influence of the trading business, said.

"This will be the first time in over a decade that a will be heading Goldman instead of a trader," he said. "It sets a tone that the bankers are going to steer the ship incrementally more than the traders."

The bank typically maps out its succession planning by naming two or three candidates to top roles. Schwartz and Solomon were named to the roles after left Goldman to become U.S. Donald Trump's

Cohn said last week he would resign, a move that came after he lost a fight over Trump's plans for and aluminium import tariffs.

Goldman shares rose nearly 1.4 percent to hit a lifetime high in morning trade, and last traded up 0.7 percent at $272.69 by midday.

Analysts viewed Schwartz's retirement as a positive for the bank because it clarified the succession planning and appeared to remove the possibility of the bank having co-CEOs.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru and in New York; Writing by Meredith Mazzilli; Editing by and Nick Zieminski)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 22:38 IST
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