(Reuters) - The expected departure of Lloyd Blankfein from Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), perhaps as soon as the end of this year, sets up a battle between co-chief operating officers Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon to take over the top spot.
A 6-foot-4 (1.93m) black-belt in karate from Morristown, New Jersey, known as a smooth communicator helping explain the nitty-gritty of complex finance to investors and clients.
First day on a trading floor was Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987, when U.S. stocks plunged 22 percent.
Joined Goldman’s commodities broker unit J. Aron & Co in 1997, also the launch pad for Blankfein and Goldman’s former chief operating officer Gary Cohn.
Worked his way up Goldman’s trading operation to become global head of securities division sales in 2007 and was global co-head of the securities division from 2008 to 2013, when he was promoted to chief financial officer.
At the start of 2017 became co-chief operating officer alongside Solomon after Cohn left Goldman to become U.S. President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser.
“He’s a bear of a man, but he’s gentle in his presentation,” according to John Rogers, Goldman’s chief of staff and secretary to the board.
A consummate dealmaker with a gravelly voice from Goldman’s investment banking side who moonlights as a DJ on the electronic dance music scene under the name D-Sol.
After beginning his career as a commercial paper salesman, he moved into junk bonds and leveraged finance at Salomon Brothers, Drexel Burnham Lambert and Bear Stearns.
Brought into Goldman by Blankfein in 1999 to run its leveraged finance team, joining as partner, a rare honor for an outsider.
Worked his way up to be global head of Goldman’s financing group, which includes all capital markets and derivative products for the bank’s corporate clients. In 2006 became co-head of the investment banking division. Became co-COO at start of 2017.
“David has always been a very large presence in meetings and rooms, even when he wasn’t maybe the most senior guy in the room,” said a former colleague. “But you also wouldn’t mind hanging out with David after the meeting’s over. That’s a pretty unique combination.”
Aside from DJing, likes to kite surf and do yoga with his adult daughter.
Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra and Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Bill Rigby