David Solomon, the Chief Executive of Goldman Sachs announced female banker Stephanie Cohen as the Co-head of Goldman Sachs on Tuesday, September 29. This new position has made Cohen become one of the most powerful women on Wall Street and the most recent female to co-lead a major bank.
43-year-old Cohen has been Goldman’s chief strategy officer since 2017 and the first female to lead her own group under Solomon. In January, Solomon reorganized the bank’s operation and this created the consumer banking group.
The consumer division has long been seen as a key part that plays a role in Goldman’s future. Cohen’s new role will also help to boost her profile in the line of succession in Goldman. Cohen is known to be Solomon’s favorite, and as such running an important division will help her have the experience and clout needed to compete for his job when he leaves the C-Suite.
In October 2018, 58-year-old Solomon took the helm at Goldman. His second executive, president, and operating chief John Waldron, who is 50, is his de facto successor. However, Gary Cohn held the No. 2 job for over ten years before leaving to join the Trump White House in January 2017 after it was apparent he wouldn’t be former CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s successor.
On the other hand, Wall Street banks are now in need of female CEOs. Citigroup’s Jane Fraser was just appointed the first CEO of a major US bank. It seems women are also taking the reins at Bank of America and JPMorgan.
Now that Cohen has been appointed as the Co-head of Goldman Sachs, longtime Goldman partner Timothy O’Neill will be replaced. O’Neil is presently the Head of Consumer & Investment Management, a division that will soon become obsolete due to the reorganization that took place in January. O’Neil will need to step back as senior counselor, a role similar to the one he held under three of Solomon’s predecessors.
On the same Tuesday, Goldman announced that Harit Talwar will step aside from his management of Marcus so that Goldman partner Omer Ismail can take charge of the biggest consumer product in the bank.
Overall, seven executive moves were announced on Tuesday, with Cohen being the only woman to assume a great position. Solomon had made the bold statement at the beginning of 2020 that Goldman will not handle IPOs for companies with all-male boards that he plans to appoint a female.