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Goldman Sachs, the premier investment bank in the world, was until recently Wall Street's last major private partnership, and significantly more profitable than any of its publicly owned competitors. How it sustained this success for most of its 129 years has for decades mystified financial players and pundits. Now, in this fascinating and authoritative study, the Goldman Sachs history and mystique are examined in unprecedented depth. Endlich, a former Goldman Sachs vice president with access to all levels of management, traces the rise and development of the firm in the context of its prevailing concept, 'People and Culture.' She documents how close client-contact, teamwork, and focus on long-term profitability over short-term goals brought the firm to a pinnacle of $3 billion pretax profits in 1997. In June 1998 the partners of Goldman Sachs voted to go public, and it made international front-page news. The story of the transformation will continue to attract extensive coverage.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780751527506
ISBN-10: 0751527505
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 127mm x 33mm)
Pages: 512
Imprint: Sphere
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 6-Apr-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » A chronicle of one of the world's most mysterious firms from a former Goldman foreign exchange vice-president. This tracks the rise of the proprietary trading and investment banking powerhouse from modest beginnings in the 1880s to being ostensibly the most powerful player in today's world financial markets. Goldman Sachs is the firm that institutionalized using P/E ratios for stock valuation and developing commercial paper and risk arbitrage. There are insights into the key figures behind the company's success from the years of leadership under Sidney Weinberg to the joint modern-day control of John Whitehead and Robert Rubin, as well as vivid descriptions of the Goldman culture, career paths, and the firms backbreaking workaholic environment. Every successful job candidate endures interviews with at least 20 vice-presidents and partners, and the bank demands that each is not an employee, but a contributor who is expected to give the performance of his/her life. Although the information she here been meticulously researched this book could be more focused. That aside, it still provides wonderful historical analysis. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » The recondite investment bank whose very name evokes bags of gold, a firm as puissant as any on Wall Street, is investigated. Inside, it looks much as it does from the outside. Endlich, once a Goldman Sachs vice president, treats her former employer well. The firm thrived as a partnership well before the turn of the current century. But in 1917 Goldman left Sachs. The former, unhappily, was partial to the German view of the Great War. The business continued on its careful way, habitually eschewing innovation, Endlich says. Nevertheless, she reports, the firm pioneered on such practices as the use of price - earnings ratios to value equities. It was, and is, a leader in the arts of block trading and raid defense. Trading for its own account, it holds significant investments in such properties as Ralph Lauren fashions and AMF bowling balls. There are occasional problems. During the insider trading scandals, one partner was jailed. The firm's close ties with the late Robert Maxwell caused difficulties with the SEC and British regulators. Endlich's reports on these matters don't dim her homage to the firm and its vaunted leaders. It is the last great partnership on the Street, and much is made of its ostensibly unique culture. Of special interest: the business is still privately held. Goldman Sachs has toyed with going public several times, most recently in early 1998. A public offering would infuse a solid capital base. It would also produce a groat windfall for longtime partners and, culture be damned, disenfranchise subordinates. The latest plan was aborted when the market abruptly retreated. These schemes, as well as the atmosphere of trading and investment banking, are well described, despite the air of general approbation. The culture has been absorbed by the author. A new, complimentary angle on the ethnology of Wall Street. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Lisa Endlich

Lisa Endlich is a former vice-president and trader at Goldman Sachs.