Goldman Sachs CEO wants more diversity in bank leaders now

Goldman Sachs' Chairman and CEO David Solomon attends a session at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer David Solomon said Wednesday there is “no excuse” why the bank’s recruits from top U.S. universities are not more diverse, and said he wants to move faster to increase diversity among the bank’s senior ranks.

Goldman has set some of the most aggressive and specific goals among the big banks requiring that more Black, Latino and female professionals be interviewed and hired for jobs at the bank. But Solomon said the bank is not increasing diversity fast enough, particularly at the upper echelons.

“I’m not pleased with where the senior leadership of the firm is,” Solomon said of the bank’s predominantly white, male senior ranks.

Last year, Goldman said it wanted 11% of all new analysts and entry-level associates hired in the U.S. to be Black, 14% to be Latino and half to be women to reflect the country's demographics. It also required that at least two diverse candidates be interviewed for any senior job opening, and it recently created a committee in the investment bank to track progress toward these goals.

Four out of Goldman’s 11 board directors are women and its lead director, Adebayo Ogunlesi, is Black.

Speaking at a virtual event hosted by the Economic Club of New York, Solomon said the directors have been critical to the bank’s success, and he has plucked people from various roles and moved them around to different executive committees to increase diversity there, too.

In January, the bank also made it a rule that any company that wants Goldman's help in going public must have at least one diverse board director first.

“All of us as leaders have to use our platform to shine a light on things that we’d like to move faster,” Solomon said.

Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Aurora Ellis