Goldman Sachs' Schwartz to retire, narrowing field for Blankfein's replacement

Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York. – AP

(GS ) said Monday that its President and Co-Chief Operating Officer, Harvey Schwartz, has chose to retire effective April 20, 2018.

The Wall Street firm revealed on Monday that co-president Harvey Schwartz, a potential successor to Blankfein, will retire next month after 20 years.

ReutersLloyd Blankfein could step down as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chief executive as soon as the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, swiveling the focus to fierce competition between the two contenders to replace him.

There's now a clear frontrunner in the race to succeed long-time Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO, Lloyd Blankfein.

The unexpected announcement that Schwartz will retire eliminates a presumptive CEO candidate with a strong trading background and comes as Goldman Sachs has been trying to reinvent itself after market trends and regulations sapped profits from its once-lucrative trading business.

Blankfein himself made a cryptic reference to the news on Twitter, saying it's "WSJ's announcement...not mine".

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Blankfein, 63, is one of the longest-serving CEOs at a bulge bracket bank having been in the role for 12 years.

Schwartz has been with Goldman for 20 years and held various leadership roles.

"Harvey has been a mentor to many, and his influence has made an indelible impact on generations of professionals at Goldman Sachs", Blankfein said.

"We saw the future as more of an investment-banking future than a securities or trading future and that favored Solomon", Charles Peabody, a Compass Point Research & Trading analyst, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Solomon joined Goldman as a partner in 1999 and ran its investment banking arm from from 2006 until 2016.

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