Lloyd Blankfein

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Lloyd Blankfein
Lloyd Blankfein CEO Goldman Sachs.jpg
Chairman & CEO of Goldman Sachs
Assumed office
Preceded by Henry Paulson
Personal details
Born Lloyd Craig Blankfein
(1954-09-15) September 15, 1954 (age 62)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Laura Jacobs (m. 1983)
Children Alex
Alma mater Harvard University

Lloyd Craig Blankfein (born September 15, 1954) is an American business executive. He is the CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs. He assumed this position upon the May 2006 nomination of former CEO Henry Paulson to United States Secretary of the Treasury.

Early life[edit]

Lloyd Blankfein was born in the Bronx borough of New York City, to a Jewish family, and reared in the Linden Houses, a New York City Housing Authority project in the East New York section of Brooklyn.[1][2] His father, Seymour Blankfein,[3] was a clerk with the U.S. Postal Service branch in the Manhattan borough of New York City and his mother was a receptionist.[4][5] As a boy, he worked as a concession vendor at Yankee Stadium.[5] He received primary and secondary education in the public schools of the New York City Department of Education, and was the valedictorian at Thomas Jefferson High School in 1971. He attended Harvard College, where he lived in Winthrop House, majored in History[6][7] and earned his A.B. in 1975.[5][8] In 1978, Blankfein received a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.[5][8]


Before joining Goldman, Blankfein worked for Proskauer Rose[9] and then Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine. In 1982, he joined Goldman's commodities trading arm, J. Aron & Co., as a precious metals salesman in its London office. Blankfein managed or co-managed the Goldman Sachs Currency and Commodities Division from 1994 to 1997.[10] He served as Vice Chairman from April 2002 until January 2004, and was in charge of the Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Division (FICC) and Equities Division.[10]

Blankfein has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 2006. He earned a total of $54.4 million in 2006 as one of the highest paid executives on Wall Street. His bonus reflected the performance of Goldman Sachs, which reported record net earnings of $9.5 billion. The compensation included a cash bonus of $27.3 million, with the rest paid in stock and options. While CEO of Goldman Sachs Group in 2007, Blankfein earned a total compensation of $53,965,418, which included a base salary of $600,000, a cash bonus of $26,985,474, stocks granted of $15,542,756 and options granted of $10,453,031.[11] He received US$23 million in salary and bonuses in 2015, which was slightly down from the US$24 million he earned in 2014 from Goldman Sachs.[12][13]

In 2009, the Financial Times named Blankfein its "2009 Person of the Year", stating, "His bank has stuck to its strengths, unashamedly taken advantage of the low interest rates and diminished competition resulting from the crisis to make big trading profits."[3][14]

On January 13, 2010, Blankfein testified before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that he considered Goldman Sachs's role as primarily a market maker, not a creator of the product (i.e., subprime mortgage-related securities).[15] Blankfein testified before Congress in April 2010 at a hearing of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He said that Goldman Sachs had no moral or legal obligation to inform its clients it was betting against the products which they were buying from Goldman Sachs because it was not acting in a fiduciary role.[16] The company was sued on April 16, 2010, by the SEC for the fraudulent selling of a synthetic CDO tied to subprime mortgages.[17] With Blankfein at the helm, Goldman has also been criticized "by lawmakers and pundits for issues from its pay practices to its role in helping Greece mask the size of its debts".[17]

In April 2011, a Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report accused Goldman Sachs of misleading clients about complex mortgage-related investments in 2007, and Senator Carl Levin alleged that Blankfein misled Congress, though no perjury charges have been brought against Blankfein.[18][19][20] In August of the same year, Goldman confirmed that Blankfein had hired high-profile defense lawyer Reid Weingarten,[21] who had previously represented executives including former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers and former Enron accounting officer Richard Causey.[22] Two months later, in November 2011, Blankfein was listed as #43 on Forbes Magazine's List of The World's Most Powerful People.

In March 2012, a former Goldman executive, Greg Smith, wrote an op-ed for The New York Times titled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs", in which he heavily criticized the firm's top leadership and Blankfein in particular."[23] Smith's op-ed was criticized by many, particularly because he worked at Goldman for 12 years before deciding to quit due to moral objections.[23]


With regard to his personal political views, Blankfein has described himself as "a registered Democrat, and a Rockefeller Republican ... conservative on fiscal issues and more liberal on social issues".[24] Blankfein contributes to mostly Democratic party candidates and donated $4,600 to Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton in 2007.[25] He is a supporter of gay marriage and has been a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign.[26] In May 2012, Blankfein stated that his stance led Goldman Sachs to lose some clients.[27] Blankfein has visited the White House 14 times as of January 2013.[28] In 2015, he contributed to the Senate re-election campaigns for the Republicans Rob Portman and Roy Blunt. After 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in January 2016 named Blankfein as an example of corporate greed, Blankfein responded that Sanders' campaign had "the potential to be a dangerous moment."[29]

On April 7, 2009, he recommended guidelines to overhaul executive compensation. According to The New York Times, he said that lessons from the global financial crisis included the need to "apply basic standards to how we compensate people in our industry".[30] In November 2009, he declared in an interview, as a banker: "I'm doing God's work."[31] Several days later he indicated that he regretted that remark and said he had intended it as a joke. He also apologized on behalf of Goldman Sachs to the public for unspecified "things that were clearly wrong and have reason to regret" and which contributed to the financial and economic crisis. The firm announced a 10,000 small businesses initiative, committing $500 million to aid American small businesses.[32]

On July 18, 2012, he commented about the effect of the Libor scandal on the financial system, "There was this huge hole to dig out of in terms of getting trust back and now it's just that much deeper." [33] The same day he met Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's chief of staff, and over lunch at the Economic Club of Washington was asked whether he had any aspiration to go into government like predecessors Hank Paulson and Robert Rubin. "I have aspirations to be desired," he replied.[34]


Blankfein formerly served on the board of trustees of the Robin Hood Foundation, a charitable organization, whose goal is to alleviate poverty in New York.[35] He serves on the board of directors of the Partnership for New York City,[36] and on the board of overseers of the Weill Cornell Medical College.[37][38]

Personal life[edit]

Blankfein is married to Laura Jacobs, an attorney and the daughter of Norman S. Jacobs, the editor-in-chief of the Foreign Policy Association publications.[4] The couple have two sons, Alexander and Jonathan, and a daughter, Rachel.[5][39][40] On September 22, 2015, Goldman Sachs released a statement saying Blankfein had been diagnosed with a highly treatable form of lymphoma.[41] He received a treatment of chemotherapy.[42] By October 2016, he explained he was cured.[43]

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in 2015, Blankfein's net worth was estimated at over $1.1 billion.[44]

Blankfein and his wife reside primarily in Manhattan's Upper West Side, but they also maintain a home in Bridgehampton, New York, as well as another house, set on 2.65 acres, in Sagaponack, New York.[5]


  1. ^ Moore, James (April 24, 2010). "Lloyd Blankfein: The prince of casino capitalism". The Independent. London. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ Jacobson, Mark (September 9, 2012). "The Land That Time and Money Forgot". New York. Retrieved September 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Gapper, John "Master of risk who did God's work for Goldman Sachs but won it little love" Financial Times. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Laura Jacobs Engaged To Lloyd C. Blankfein". The New York Times. May 15, 1983. Retrieved May 11, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f James Nye, Inside Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein's new $32.5 million Hamptons estate...bought even though he still hasn't sold his other $14 million Long Island home, The Daily Mail, December 6, 2012
  6. ^ "Lloyd Blankfein Was a History Major. Just Sayin'". Bloomberg. January 22, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Lloyd Blankfein's Advice To Interns — Relax". Business Insider. October 10, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "The World's Most Powerful People: #26 Lloyd Blankfein". Forbes. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Blankfein Offers Billionaire NBA Owners Advice as Stern Exits". Bloomberg. 
  10. ^ a b "Lloyd C. Blankfein Chairman and Chief Executive Officer". Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  11. ^ CEO Compensation for Lloyd C. Blankfein , Equilar.com
  12. ^ Oran, Olivia. "Goldman awards CEO Blankfein $23 million in pay for 2015". reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Cohan, William D. (April 2015). "Wall Street Executives from the Financial Crisis of 2008: Where Are They Now?". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein Named Financial Times Person Of The Year". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
  15. ^ Kenney, Caitlin (January 13, 2010). "Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Day One". NPR. 
  16. ^ Quinn, James (April 28, 2010). "Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein denies moral obligation towards clients". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "Goldman Shares Tumble on SEC Fraud Allegations"
  18. ^ "Levin Says Goldman's Blankfein Tried to Mislead Congress". YouTube. April 14, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Blankfein Hires Lawyer Weingarten for Justice Investigation". Bloomberg Businessweek. August 22, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  20. ^ Schmidt, Robert (April 14, 2011). "Goldman Sachs Misled Congress After Duping Clients Over CDOs, Levin Says". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Goldman CEO hires prominent defense lawyer". Reuters. August 22, 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  22. ^ Witkowski, Wallace,"Goldman Sachs says Blankfein hires Weingarten: WSJ", MarketWatch, August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  23. ^ a b Smith, Greg (March 14, 2012). "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs". The New York Times. 
  24. ^ Blankfein, Lloyd (April 25, 2012). Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein on Internal Review. Interview with Gary Kaminsky. Squawk on the Street. CNBC. New York. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  25. ^ "NEWSMEAT ▷ Lloyd Blankfein's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". Newsmeat.com. August 5, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010. 
  26. ^ Craig, Susanne (February 5, 2012). "Blankfein to Speak Out for Same-Sex Marriage". New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  27. ^ Braithwaite, Tom (May 2, 2012). "Pro-gay stance cost Goldman, says Blankfein". Financial Times. London. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  28. ^ Goldman Sachs Succeeds Where Gore Fails. Washington Free Beacon. January 3, 2013.
  29. ^ Eliza Collins (February 3, 2016) Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein: Sanders candidacy a 'dangerous moment' Politico
  30. ^ "Goldman Chief Proposes Revamping Wall St. Pay". New York Times. April 7, 2009. 
  31. ^ Interview with the Sunday Times Archived January 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ Goldman offers $500m apology for crisis, Financial Times, November 18, 2009.
  33. ^ "Goldman Sach's Blankfein Says Libor Scandal Undermines Trust". Bloomberg Businessweek. July 18, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Goldman CEO Blankfein Said to Meet With Obama Adviser Lew". Bloomberg Businessweek. July 18, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  35. ^ "EMERITUS BOARD". Robin Hood Foundation. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Board of Directors". Partnership for New York City. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  37. ^ "Board of Overseers". Weill Cornell Medical College. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  38. ^ Rivard (December 12, 2014). "All in the Family". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  39. ^ Julia La Roche, Hey Look, Lloyd Blankfein's Kids Are On Instagram, Business Insider, July 27, 2012
  40. ^ Harvard Alumni
  41. ^ de la Merced, Michael J. (September 22, 2015). "Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs C.E.O., Has Lymphoma". The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  42. ^ Belvedere, Matthew J. (February 3, 2016). "Goldman's Blankfein: US economy not off rails". CNBC. Retrieved October 18, 2016. Bald and without his beard, the 61-year-old Blankfein also talked about battling cancer. He said he's feeling "pretty good" after undergoing "like 600 hours of chemo" over the last few months. 
  43. ^ "How Goldman Sachs' CEO Beat Cancer". Fortune. October 18, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  44. ^ Moore, Michael; Roux, Pamela (17 July 2015). "Lloyd Blankfein Is Now a Billionaire". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Henry Paulson
Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs
Succeeded by