Thursday, November 15, 2007

Does a firm make its employees

... or do the employees define the firm?

About the NYTimes article on Goldman Sach's influence:

In many ways, Goldman Sachs is seen as the financial world’s equivalent of General Electric, the corporate powerhouse, or McKinsey & Company, the management consulting firm. It is a training ground — and finishing school —from which other companies, along with quite a few governments, have frequently plucked their own top leaders.

Goldman claims among its alumni Henry M. Paulson Jr., the current Treasury secretary; Robert E. Rubin, a Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton and now Citigroup’s chairman; and Mario Draghi, the Bank of Italy’s governor. Jon S. Corzine, New Jersey’s governor, led Goldman for several years. Joshua B. Bolten, the current White House chief of staff, is a Goldman alum.

To insiders, all this is a result of Goldman’s elite culture, a sense of close-knit partnership that has endured despite the firm’s decision in 1999 to turn itself into a publicly owned corporation. To detractors, the firm is alternately a cult or a secretive fraternity like Skull and Bones at Yale, one focused on profits and power.

The bottom line on Goldman is that it is stocked with bright people who practically mint money..."It’s a partnership culture that truly ruthlessly weeds out people,” said Brad Hintz...

Goldman can afford to lose some of its best people because it fosters a deep managerial bench and gives a heavy emphasis to personal coaching...Even those who leave the firm to run less managerial businesses ... were instilled with the notion that success comes from building a team.
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