NEW YORK, March 30 Greg Smith, the former
Goldman Sachs executive who condemned the powerful investment
bank in a scathing New York Times opinion column, has landed a
deal to write a book about his 12 years at the firm, according
to media reports on Friday.
Smith, who resigned from Goldman earlier this month, set off
a bidding war when he met with several major publishers earlier
this week about a book that would include details of what Smith
has described as a toxic culture at the famous Wall Street firm,
said a publishing industry source.
The final deal was first reported in Friday's New York Post,
which said Grand Central publishing, an imprint of the Hachette
Book Group, paid a $1.5 million advance for the book.
Jennifer Romanello, a spokeswoman for the publishing house,
and Smith's literary agent, Paul Fedorko of N.S. Bienstock, had
Smith's withering resignation letter published in the New
York Times called Goldman a "toxic" place with a culture that
boasted of ripping off clients. Smith recounted seeing five of
the firm's managing directors refer to clients as "muppets" at
times on internal emails.
The letter captured the imagination of Wall Street and
social media websites including Twitter, where Smith instantly
became a top trending topic.
The Johannesburg-born Smith worked at Goldman's London
office in equity derivatives as an executive director.
His op-ed piece was highly unusual because Goldman employees
shy away from publicly criticizing the bank, both because it
breaks the Goldman code of silence and because non-disparagement
agreements signed by many employees bar them from speaking
negatively about the firm.
Goldman responded to the op-ed by saying Smith's views did
not reflect the way the business was run.