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Goldman Sachs set to name new CEO this week: report

Investment bank is expected to elevate company president David Solomon as Lloyd Blankfein's successor

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Mr Solomon (above) was named in March as the sole president under Mr Blankfein, identifying him as the front-runner to be CEO.

Hong Kong

GOLDMAN Sachs Group Inc is poised to take another step in the slow exit of Lloyd Blankfein, its longstanding chief executive officer.

The investment bank plans early this week to name company president David Solomon - whom Mr Blankfein has publicly referred to as his successor - as its next CEO, The New York Times reported on Sunday, citing people briefed on the plan.

Mr Blankfein will stay on at the bank for an interim period, but the plan to elevate Mr Solomon was likely to be announced as early as Monday, the newspaper said.

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Goldman Sachs spokesman Edward Naylor declined to comment.

Mr Solomon, 56, was named in March as the sole president under Mr Blankfein, identifying him as a clear front-runner for the CEO spot. Formally designating him as Mr Blankfein's successor would likely make it easier for Mr Solomon to put his future lieutenants in place, The New York Times said.

In deciding to appoint Mr Solomon as sole president earlier this year, Mr Blankfein and the board had been impressed by his proven ability to to build businesses, the strength of the dealmaking team he assembled and his efforts to recruit and retain talent, insiders said at the time.

Those qualities became even more valuable as the bank decided it had focused too much on hedge funds as trading customers, at the expense of corporations.

In recent years, the firm has leaned more on investment banking and asset management amid an industrywide slowdown in the markets businesses that in 2017 contributed to the worst year for trading under Mr Blankfein's watch.

The CEO had long sought to preserve the firm's franchise, predicting activity would pick up.

Goldman Sachs is due to report results on Tuesday. On Friday, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co announced surprisingly strong revenue from advising companies on mergers and raising capital in the second quarter, lifting the bar for firms like Goldman and Morgan Stanley, which also reports results this week.

Mr Solomon, who has an investment banking background, joined Goldman Sachs as a partner in 1999 from Bear Stearns Cos. He rose through Goldman's financing operation and eventually ran the firm's top-ranked investment-banking arm for a decade.

Mr Blankfein said in March that he had yet to settle on a career beyond his 12-year tenure as Goldman CEO, and that his wife has told him she doesn't think he should step down.

"I know I want to do something," Mr Blankfein said. "I'd like to have a runway," he said, adding, "I'm still looking." BLOOMBERG