Rajat Gupta Was "Tormented" And Tried To Leave Goldman Weeks Before He Allegedly Gave Those Tips To Raj

rajat gupta

Rajat Gupta tried to quit the board of Goldman Sachs in September of 2008, just two weeks before he allegedly passed on tips about the bank’s profits and the $5 billion Berkshire investment to Raj Rajaratnam, according to Dealbook.

But Lloyd Blankfein and other executives convinced him to stay; they were concerned Gupta’s departure in the midst of the financial crisis would not look good for the bank, both from a shareholder and a public view, Dealbook reported.

Gupta was charged a few weeks ago with insider trading. It’s believed he’ll testify in the Raj trial.

And we know why he wanted to leave.

Prosecutors released a recording of a conversation from August 15, 2008, between Raj and Anil Kumarboth friends of Gupta — that shows Gupta was angling to leave Goldman so he could move into a senior advisory role at private equity giant KKR. (He did end up taking a role, but stepped down in the wake of the insider trading allegations.)

Here’s their discussion of the KKR post, via Dealbook,

AK:  But is it really that he was so greedy for the $12 million that K.K.R. has offered him?

RR: He ran the numbers with me, right, it was about $5 million a year with upside… My analysis of the situation is he’s enamoured with Kravis, and I think he wants to be in that circle... That’s a billionaire circle, right? Goldman is like the hundreds of millions circle, right? And I think here he sees the opportunity to make $100 million over the next five years or 10 years without doing a lot of work.

Also in the tapes is a discussion of Gupta’s mental state. Kumar talks about a fear that Gupta will have an “implosion,” why Raj describes him as “tormented.”

Listen to the wiretaps >

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