Harvey Schwartz, one of the frontrunners to replace Lloyd Blankfein at the helm of Goldman Sachs, has quit just days after it emerged the chief executive was planning to stand down. He had been co-head of the bank's trading division before being promoted to chief financial officer in 2013, while Solomon, 56, had been a co-head of investment banking at Goldman since 2006 until becoming co-COO. The statement didn't give a timeline for Mr. Blankfein's eventual retirement.
Analysts said the timing of the official announcement came as a surprise, but ended speculation that the bank could name two people to run the firm as co-CEOs or cochairmen, which it has done in the past, and signaled to Wall Street that Solomon was the clear heir apparent.
Blankfein is said to be considering retiring as early as this year, ending his 12-year reign at the bank, insiders told The Post.
Blankfein said: "Harvey has been a mentor to many, and his influence has made an indelible impact on generations of professionals at Goldman Sachs".
Long seen as the undisputed king of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs has come under greater scrutiny over the previous year or two as returns of its once-formidable trading divisions have languished and as rival Morgan Stanley has won plaudits for its asset management services. He and Solomon were named co-COO in December 2016 in a setup that appeared to pit the two against each other to eventually lead what is viewed as the most powerful United States investment bank.
Goldman Sachs, humbled by the financial crisis, is no longer the undisputed king of Wall Street.
Regarding Solomon, he said "I look forward to continuing to work closely with David in building our franchise around the world, serving our expanding client base and delivering strong returns for our shareholders".
Shares of Goldman Sachs finished up 1.0 percent to $273.38. He has also taken on a leading role in the firm's diversity push and initiatives to improve working conditions for young bankers.