Despite drawing the wrong kind of attention to themselves over the last two-plus years with news of murky dealings in “structured products” and concern over the bank’s role in the subprime mortgage crisis, execs at Goldman Sachs apparently believe that the way they’ve been doing business just needs a tweak here and there rather than a complete makeover, according to The New York Times.
What’s more, this news comes at the tail end of a nine-month review process Goldman launched last spring, using some familiar faces, rather than independent agents, to do the investigative work. —KA
DealBook in The New York Times:
Unprompted by the agency, the firm initiated the review in May. The committee that led the study consisted only of Goldman executives, including E. Gerald Corrigan and J. Michael Evans, a rising star and possible successor to Mr. Blankfein.
As part of the process, the committee conducted hundreds of interviews with staff members. It also hired two consulting firms, which reached out to Goldman clients. Some complained that the investment bank should be more forthcoming about its role in transactions. While much of the feedback from clients was “flattering,” Mr. Evans said, the firm was also told there was room for improvement, particularly in the areas of transparency and communication.
The report includes 39 recommendations, approved by the board in December. On Monday, Mr. Blankfein briefed Goldman partners, including senior managers, in a closed-door, offsite meeting in Connecticut.
“We believe the recommendations of the committee will strengthen the firm’s culture in an increasingly complex environment,” the report concluded. “In particular, our approach must be: not just ‘can we’ undertake a given business activity, but ‘should we.’ ”