30 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Lloyd Blankfein


Lloyd Blankfein is a Harvard educated lawyer, who served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Here are a few important things to know about the American investment banker:

  1. He served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs, one of the largest investment banking enterprises in the world, since 2006, but was succeeded by David Solomon as CEO in October 2018.
  2. Before taking over as CEO and Chairman, he served as the President and Chief Operating Officer from 2004 until 2006, under the then-CEO Henry Paulson.
  3. His senior Henry Paulson, in the late 1990s identified Blankfein as his heir apparent, though he was third in corporate hierarchy behind two co-presidents.
  4. He successfully led the company through the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, that hit the banking industry, almost immediately after he assumed the office. His way of handling the crisis was widely praised as well as criticized by various media outlets.
  5. During his tenure as CEO, he publicly supported the enhanced rights for LGBTQ community, which led to frustrations of some people, who quit working for Goldman Sachs. The company also lost some loyal and valuable customers over this matter.
  6. He was awarded the Financial Times Person of the Year award in the year 2009, and was also named as one among the most influential people in the world by the Time magazine.
  7. Lloyd Craig Blankfein was born on September 20, 1954, in The Bronx of New York City, to Seymour Blankfein, a clerk with the U.S. Postal Service branch in the Manhattan.
  8. He studied in different New York City's public schools, before graduating valedictorian at Thomas Jefferson High School in the 1971.
  9. It is reported that as a kid, Blankfein was chubby and brainy, but however, he would have liked to be "a nerd." Since he couldn't make it to that, he focused on being "funny and entertaining," and later became known for his Borscht Belt-style sense of humor.
  10. In the year 1975, he went on to study at Harvard University on scholarship basis, where he graduated with a A.B. in History. Following this, he received a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1978.
  11. His idea of earning and making money started a very young age and it is reported that he, even as a boy, worked as a concession vendor at Yankee Stadium.
  12. During his time at Harvard, he had a reputation for his ability to "memorize television jingles and popular songs," which he reportedly "still retains."
  13. Initially, Blankfein started his career with the law firms Proskauer Rose and then Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine, before joining J. Aron & Co., the commodities trading firm, as a precious metals salesman in 1982, in its London office.
  14. During his working as a lawyer in the Los Angeles for different firms, he discovered his penchant for gambling and in particular for the blackjack tables.
  15. It is reported that for his first interview at J. Aron & Co, he was led through a roomful of screaming traders, by Dennis Suskind, a partner, who asked him if Blankfein can work in that. He, in a reply, just said "I go home to it every night."
  16. In the year 1994, Goldman Sachs, under the then-CEO Stephen Friedman, acquired J. Aron & Co, with which Blankfein started his career in Goldman Sachs.
  17. Following the appointment of Henry Paulson, Blankfein was tasked with the management of company's currency and commodities divisions, until 1997, when he became the Co-Head of the Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities division. Later in the year 2002, he was promoted as the Chairman of the same division.
  18. In an interview with the New York Magazine, he said that he was not driven by the desire of status or wealth, but just a desire to achieve something good.
  19. It is reported that his swift rise through Goldman is all because of his "high EQ" and "raw brain power," and that "he is just really a human," which most CEOs aren't.
  20. Two years later, he took up the position of president and chief operating officer of the company, until 2006, when he has to take over as CEO and Chairman following Paulson's resignation to serve as the 74th United States Secretary of the Treasury.
  21. As the President of Goldman Sachs, he led the company through the "2000s commodities boom" and positioned Goldman to take advantage of rising commodity prices.
  22. During the 2007-2008 financial crisis he led Goldman Sachs serve as a market maker, using low interest rates and government assistance to undercut competition from other investment banks.
  23. With this, and along with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, he established the company as the second largest investment bank in the U.S. while others either went bankrupt or fell to acquisitions.
  24. He voluntarily testified before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, on January 13, 2010, stating that he considered Goldman Sachs's role as primarily market maker, not a creator of the product.
  25. For this, Senator Carl Levin accused Blankfein of misleading Congress; however, no perjury charges were brought against him. However, as a precautionary step, Blankfein hired Reid Weingarten, a high-profile defense lawyer.
  26. The testimony increased his public status, landing him at #43 on the Forbes Magazine's List of The World's Most Powerful People in November 2011.
  27. Blankfein posted his first ever tweet on June 1, 2017, despite joining Twitter in 2011, condemning President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Accord, saying "Today's decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.'s leadership position in the world. #ParisAgreement"
  28. He is married to Laura Jacobs, an attorney, and they have two sons, Alexander and Jonathan, and a daughter, Rachel, residing in Manhattan's Upper West Side.
  29. He was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma, on September 22, 2015, and has received multiple rounds of treatment of chemotherapy. Since October 2016, he has been in remission.
  30. From the year 2000 to 2009, he personally donated around $11 million to charitable organizations. His joint charity foundation with his wife Laura, the Lloyd and Laura Blankfein Foundation, donated $620,000 to Harvard Law School, $500,000 to the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, $50,000 to Barnard College, $46,500 to the Robin Hood Foundation, and $10,000 to Carnegie Hall in 2010.
  31. Lloyd Blankfein Net Worth: $1.1 Billion

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Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein

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