Lloyd Blankfein

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

Lloyd Blankfein has been CEO and chairman of Goldman Sachs since June 2006, and a director since April 2003.[1]



Blankfein provoked public fury when he described himself as just a banker "doing God's work" at a time when many people were feeling the hardship of the financial crisis.[2]

Risk manager

Lloyd Blankfein ranks risk management as his no.1 daily priority, even ahead of doing God's work,” wrote the Financial Times's William Cohan in November 2009; he quotes him as saying: "I'm a risk manager and I've been that for a long time, a lot longer than I've been CEO.” [3]

Yet SpinWatch points out in a report published March 2011, that even after the financial crash, risk practices among investment banks like Goldman Sachs were found wanting. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) – in a review of risk management by leading investment banks in late 2009 – identified “Poor practices ”such as:
• No real challenge evidenced by the Board and the lack of a focused risk discussion;
• Board engagement limited to set-piece Board meetings;
• The CEO and CRO view their role as one of education, with the Board failing to influence the way the business is run;
• Insufficient time allocated to discuss risk.

The FSA also severely criticised the banks over their “risk framework”, detailing “poorer practices” that included:
• Remuneration and performance assessment of risk staff predominantly based on revenue and profits of the business;
• A risk appetite that is not uniformly understood and embedded across the organisation;
• The firm failing to ask itself sufficiently about the downside of any deal, but instead focuses on the upside: client demand, league tables and revenues. Culturally, downsides should be presented as part and parcel of new business proposals.

Backed by Politicians

Correspondence obtained by SpinWatch reveals that in January 2010 London Mayor Boris Johnson wrote to Blankfein to restate his support for the City: “I will strongly defend London's financial services industry against the threats of punitive taxation and new burdensome EU regulations”, he wrote.[4]


Before becoming CEO and chairman Blankfein had been President and Chief Operating Officer since January 2004. Prior to that he was a Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs, from April 2002 until January 2004,, with management responsibility for Goldman Sachs’ Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Division (FICC) and Equities Division (Equities). Before becoming a Vice Chairman, he had served as co-head of FICC since its formation in 1997. From 1994 to 1997, he headed or co-headed the Currency and Commodities Division. [1]



Blankfein's web profile states he is not currently on the board of any public company other than Goldman Sachs but 'is affiliated with certain non-profit organizations, including as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at Harvard Law School, the Dean’s Council at Harvard University and the Advisory Board of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, an overseer of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Partnership for New York City.[1]



Website: http://www2.goldmansachs.com/our-firm/our-people/leadership/board-of-directors.html



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Goldman Sachs, Our People: Board of Directors, accessed 16 March 2011
  2. John Arlidge, “I'm doing 'God's work'. Meet Mr Goldman Sachs”, The Sunday Times, November 8, 2009
  3. [1] Financial Times
  4. SpinWatch, Doing God’s Work: How Goldman Sachs Rigs the Game - SpinWatch investigation detailing Goldman Sachs’ secret lobbying activities in the UK and Brussels and links to politicians. Published on Scribd, March 2011. p8.