The Goldman Sachs Special Sauce

What’s the difference between Goldman Sachs and all the other investment banks?

You know, aside from that whole profitability thing. The answer seems to be

that where other banks have org charts, Goldman has managers. It’s

unthinkable that Goldman would ever go outside its own ranks in hiring a new

CEO, and Goldman alumni like John Thain are prized for their managerial skills.

Michael de la Merced does his best today to explain

the Goldman culture:

Goldman can afford to lose some of its best people because it fosters a deep

managerial bench and gives a heavy emphasis to personal coaching. Those among

its ranks anointed as future leaders attend special seminars. Even those who

leave the firm to run less managerial businesses — hedge fund executives

like Edward S. Lampert, Eric Mindich and Daniel Och — were instilled

with the notion that success comes from building a team.

Goldman bankers also seem to pop up everywhere. It was no surprise to read,

elsewhere in the NYT, this:

On the advice of his agent, Scott Boras, Rodriguez opted out of his contract

during Game 4 of the World Series on Oct. 28. But he recently informed the

Yankees through common friends at Goldman Sachs that he was reconsidering

his stance.

Probably the only reason that Goldman isn’t in the sports-agenting business

is that it just isn’t profitable enough. But if the Yankees ever decide to go

public, expect to see Goldman lead the offering.

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