David Viniar

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David A. Viniar
Born1955 (age 63–64)
Alma materUnion College (B.A.)
Harvard Business School (M.B.A.)[1]
EmployerGoldman Sachs
Salary$1.1M USD (2008)[2]

David Alan Viniar was the CFO and Executive Vice President at Goldman Sachs from 1999 until January 31, 2013. He is currently on the Board of Directors of Goldman Sachs.[3]


A 1972 alumnus of The Bronx High School of Science,[4] Viniar spent summers at Kozan's Bungalow Colony in Ellenville, NY, and graduated from Union College, New York in 1976, where he majored in economics.[5] He then attended Harvard Business School, earning an MBA in 1980.[1]

After receiving the MBA, Viniar joined Goldman Sachs where he has remained since. He became a partner in 1992, a managing director in 1996 and executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1999.[1] He has been the head of Operations, Technology, Finance and Services Division since December 2002.

Viniar headed the Finance Division and co-head of Credit Risk Management and Advisory and Firmwide Risk from December 2001 to December 2002. He co-headed Operations, Finance and Resources from March 1999 to December 2001. He was CFO of the Goldman Sachs Group, L.P. from March 1999 to May 1999. From July 1998 until March 1999, he was Deputy Chief Financial Officer and from 1994 until July 1998, he was head of Finance, with responsibility for Controllers and Treasury. From 1992-94, he was head of Treasury and prior to that was in the Structured Finance Department of Investment Banking.[6]

In September 2012 Viniar announced that he would be retiring from Goldman Sachs in January 2013.[7] On January 31, 2013 he retired from his positions as CFO and Executive Vice President and took on the role of director at Goldman Sachs.

On October 30, 2013 Viniar became a director on the board of Square, Inc., the mobile payments firm run by Jack Dorsey.[8]

"25 standard deviations" quote[edit]

On 13 August 2007, The Financial Times reported Viniar's explanation of why two large hedge funds managed by Goldman Sachs had both lost over a quarter of their value in a week, requiring the injection of $3 billion to support them.[9] Viniar ascribed the events to a series of exceptional events: “We were seeing things that were 25 standard deviation moves, several days in a row”.[10] This has since been used to illustrate the problems of inappropriate mathematical models in finance, especially those based on the assumption of Normality.[11][12]

Senate Testimony[edit]

Viniar testified in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 regarding the role of investment banks in the financial crisis that began in 2007 and, specifically, the role of Goldman Sachs in that crisis.[13]


David Viniar serves on the Board of Trustees of Union College and is a member of the Board of Trustees of both Children's Aid and Family Services and the Financial Accounting Foundation.[14]


David Viniar is married and has four children.


  1. ^ a b c d e David Viniar '76: Making hoop dreams come true, Union College, 2005-08-11, retrieved 2009-03-24
  2. ^ David A. Viniar profile, Forbes.com, retrieved 2009-12-15
  3. ^ "Goldman Sachs Group Inc: David Viniar". Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Accolades: David Viniar '76: Making hoop dreams come true". Union College. August 11, 2005. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  5. ^ Union College accolade article
  6. ^ Forbes https://people.forbes.com/profile/david-a-viniar/37701. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Lattman, Peter (18 September 2012). "Goldman's Longtime C.F.O. to Retire". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Goldman Sachs Group Inc.: David Viniar". Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  9. ^ Goldman and Investors to Put $3 Billion Into Fund New York Times 14 August 2007
  10. ^ Conti-Brown, Peter. "Proposed Fat-Tail Risk Metric: Disclosures, Derivatives, and the Measurement of Financial Risk, A." Wash. UL Rev. 87 (2009): 1461.
  11. ^ Crotty, James. "Structural causes of the global financial crisis: a critical assessment of the ‘new financial architecture’." Cambridge Journal of Economics 33.4 (2009): 563-580
  12. ^ Dowd, Kevin, et al. "How unlucky is 25-sigma?." arXiv preprint arXiv:1103.5672 (2011)
  13. ^ Notice of upcoming testimony by David Viniar to the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee Archived 2010-05-01 at the Wayback Machine, April 26, 2010
  14. ^ Profile of Viniar at Businessweek