Henry Goldman is arguably the founder of investment banking as we know it today. In 1906 he began diverting his father's company from a bank specializing in commercial paper into a Wall Street firm that helped enterprises expand operations by raising the capital they needed through the sale of their shares to the public. He was ethical, conscientious, a first-rate investor and an aggressive risk-taker. Above all he was a visionary and the creative genius who revolutionized Goldman Sachs.
By year end 2007, prior to the Great Recession, Goldman Sachs had become one of the most admired financial firms on Earth with former partners serving in the most coveted financial posts worldwide from Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, Secretary of the Treasury, and President of the World Bank to lesser positions such as chief operating officer of the SEC's enforcement division or head of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). However, after the Great Recession of 2008 began, many attributed the world's economic ills to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms.
The question is what Henry Goldman would have thought about the Goldman Sachs of today and what he would have said or done. Author Daniel Alef traces the Goldman Sachs story and the role Henry Goldman played in its evolution. This is the story of the beginning of IPOs, how Henry led Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Kleinort, Sons & Co. in London into taking public companies previously ignored by financial firms, including Sears Roebuck, Woolsworth, Studebaker, Cluett Peabody--117 companies in total. It was a tectonic shift in the world of finance. This is the fascinating tale of a very private man who supported the arts and sciences--a close friend of Albert Einstein, Yehudi Menuhin and many others--a man with his own take on World War I, and the ultimate, intractable breach between the Goldman and Sachs families. [10,067-word Titans of Fortune article, including a timeline, bibliography and video links]
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Meta4 Press LLC
December 27, 2010
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