Goldman banker had raised ethics concerns: NYT

FILE PHOTO: The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company's space on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N partner had raised concerns about some unethical practices at the bank before he left in 2015, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing people close to the matter.

James Katzman, who led the bank's West Coast mergers-and-acquisitions practice, had used the whistle-blower hotline in 2014 to report on the investment bank trying to hire a customer's child and colleagues' repeated attempts to obtain and then share confidential client information, the paper reported

The investigation was taken up by the bank’s general counsel and Katzman was urged to move past his complaints by several senior investment banking executives, the newspaper reported, citing several people familiar with the interactions.

Katzman refused and left Goldman in 2015. He was required to sign a confidentiality agreement that he believed prevented him from sharing his concerns with board members or regulators, people close to Katzman told the newspaper.

“A few years ago, Katzman raised several issues through an appropriate outside channel. In accordance with our whistle-blower policy, his concerns were thoroughly investigated by our legal department and it was determined that no additional action was warranted,” Goldman spokesman Michael DuVally said in an email.

“After that, Katzman chose to leave the firm at his own initiative despite efforts to keep him.”

In May, the bank enlisted its top management in a firm-wide initiative on conduct and culture issues.

The program is a mandatory, global training program that convenes the firm’s partners and managing directors to reinforce a responsibility – particularly among the firm’s leaders – for strengthening culture and reputation.

Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel