|As is always the case with data, there are a few ways to interpret partner departures under Solomon.
The case for Solomon
While partner departures under Solomon have increased, according to our analysis, it hasn’t been a massive bump. The average annual departure rate is up less than 7% during his tenure, per our calculations. And when you factor in how bloated the partnership got under former CEO Lloyd Blankfein — hitting 472 at one point — it’s fair to say some trimming was due.
The highest number of departures also came during Solomon’s first year in charge, which seems normal. New leadership typically leads to more churn as the new boss gets their house in order.
It’s also important to remember Solomon isn’t beholden to partners. As valuable as these executives are, it’s not pre-1999 anymore when partners funded the business. Goldman’s shareholders — not its partners — are the people Solomon has to answer to at the end of the day.
The case against Solomon
With that being said, the partner exits aren’t all easily explained. The departure of newly minted execs — at least two who were named partner in 2022 are already gone — seems particularly troubling.
Goldman also likes to pitch departing partners as an extension of the firm. Former Goldman partners become future Goldman clients, the bank likes to say.
And while that sounds great on paper — and is often the case — it doesn’t always work like that. Consider Omer Ismail, who departed Goldman after being tapped to head its entire consumer business to lead a Walmart-backed fintech and took some top executives with him.