Goldman Has Top-Level Departures at Inopportune Time

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In yet another change to the global bank’s top management within weeks, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) announced that Edward Forst, co-head of its asset management business, will leave at the end of the year. [1] The responsibility will pass on to Eric Lane, a longtime Goldman employee who currently serves as the asset management COO. This change comes on the heels of retirement announcements by Latin America head Kevin Kennedy and Yusuf Alireza, co-head of the bank’s operations in Asia-Pacific ex. Japan. This shake-up is definitely not what Goldman needs now;  it is already under immense pressure from investors to bounce back from its rare loss in the third quarter which saw mixed results from banks such as Bank of America (NYSE:BAC).

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Goldman Sachs reported a rare quarterly loss for Q3 in the wake of deteriorating market conditions across the globe. This has brought its various businesses under considerable scrutiny from investors. And as the bank attempts to steer its way through the brewing global economic turmoil, it needs its experienced leaders to help it stay the course.

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Edward Forst was rehired within a year of leaving Goldman for Harvard in 2009. Notably the asset management business, or the Investment Management Division (IMD) as Goldman reports, was the only business that did not see its revenues hit significantly for Q3 2011.

With a number of high-profile employees leaving the bank, Goldman has another reason to worry as responsibilities are passed on to a new set of people who will be under significant pressure to deliver results.

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Notes:
  1. High-Level Goldman Executive Is Leaving the Firm, NYTimes Dealbook, Dec 2 2011 []