Photo: Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs Vice-Chairman Michael Sherwood will succeed President and COO Gary Cohn as chairman of the bank’s Partnership Committee.Employees received an email today announcing the appointment, we’re told.
The Partnership Committee is responsible for personnel development at Goldman, and career management issues, and together with the Management Committee, forms the governance structure of the bank.
As Chairman of the panel, Sherwood will oversee issues related to recruitment, training, performance evaluation, diversity, mobility and, as seems to be the topic of the moment at the bank, succession planning.
Sherwood is a veteran of the firm, having joined in 1986. In addition being Vice-Chairman, he’s co-CEO of Goldman Sachs International, a role he’s had since 2005. Prior to that, he was global co-head of the securities unit, and head of the Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Division in Europe.
This news is interesting in the wake of rumours there could be leadership changes at the top echelon of Goldman this year — Charlie Gasparino reported last week that Lloyd Blankfein’s friends say he is ready to move on. A Goldman Sachs spokesman denied the story on the day.
However, based on the average reign of a Goldman CEO, that Blankfein would depart the bank in 2011 is not an outrageous suggestion. And that begs the question: who will replace him?
A natural successor is the man Sherwood is replacing as Chairman of the Partnership Committee, and Blankfein’s right-hand-man and best friend, Gary Cohn. Like Blankfein, Cohn also began his career as a commodities trader, and early on became Blankfein’s “corporate problem solver.”
Perhaps this is a move to shed some of Cohn’s non-core responsibilities in the lead-up to a succession? Or, rather, is Goldman grooming Sherwood for the top?
In conjunction with the firm’s Management Committee, the Partnership Committee is responsible for selecting and compensating partners and managing directors.