Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill is retiring.
Just over 10 years ago, O’Neill introduced the world to the BRICs in a paper titled Building Better Global Economic BRICs.
In that paper, which came out in 2001, he said that Brazil, Russia, India, and China would become hugely important economically and financially. And he was dead on.
Here’s the statement from Goldman’s Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn:
After nearly 20 years of outstanding service, Jim O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, has decided to retire from the firm later this year.
Jim is an influential economist and thought leader, and is regarded as an expert in the world’s foreign exchange and bond markets. Importantly, he has identified revolutionary economic trends, defining the concept of the BRICs which has become synonymous with the emergence of Brazil, Russia, India and China as growth opportunities of the future. Jim’s BRIC thesis has challenged conventional thinking about emerging markets and, as a result, has had a significant economic and social impact. More recently, his book, The Growth Map, captured his perspectives on the growth markets of today and the future.
Jim joined Goldman Sachs in 1995 as a partner in the roles of co-head of Global Economics Research and chief currency economist. He was named head of Global Economics, Commodities and Strategy Research in 2001. In 2006, Jim joined the firm’s European Management Committee. In 2010, he took up his current role as chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and since then he has strengthened our research discipline and enhanced communication among investment professionals across asset classes. In each of his roles at the firm, Jim has served our clients by formulating views on global economic and market themes and helping them to be positioned for the most significant investment opportunities.
Jim is involved in a number of non-profit organisations. He is chairman and a founding trustee of the London-based charity SHINE and also serves on the board of Teach for All and a number of other charities specializing in education. Jim has been the recipient of many awards, including an honorary doctorate in 2009 from the Institute of Education, University of London, for his educational philanthropy. He is also a member of the board of the Itinera Institute and has been on the board of Bruegel since its creation. Jim is a member of the UK-India Round Table and the UK India Business Council, and is also chairman of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Advisory. He previously served as a non-executive director of Manchester United before it returned to private ownership in 2005.
We wish Jim and his family all the best in the years ahead.
Lloyd C. Blankfein
Gary D. Cohn
When we interviewed Jim last year, we asked him what he liked to do when he was not working. Watch below: