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South African director at Goldman Sachs trashes the company in open resignation letter to the NY Times
Posted by on Mar 15th, 2012

South African, Greg Smith quit his executive director job at Goldman Sachs yesterday and went out with a bang by trashing the company in an open letter to the NY Times titled ‘Why i am leaving Goldman Sachs‘. In it he describes the financial institution “as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

He’s been hailed as a hero by his friends while bosses at Goldman Sachs are clearly not impressed by his public exit.

Here’s an excerpt from the letter.

“TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.” [NY Times]

Go the read the rest HERE it’s pretty ballsy stuff from Smith.

In the letter Smith goes on to say that the clients who’s funds he managed had a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars and that it makes him ill at how callously executives at the bank talk about ripping there clients off.

Goldman Sachs released the following statement in response to Smiths letter.

“By now, many of you have read the submission in today’s New York Times by a former employee of the firm. Needless to say, we were disappointed to read the assertions made by this individual that do not reflect our values, our culture and how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients. [read more HERE]

Nicely done Mr Smith …nicely done.

Adam says:
March 03, 2012 at 9:00 am

Other prospective employers must be tripping over each other with excitement at possibly hiring him. A bit like bagging your ex girlfriend in the press. Very attractive.

Jules says:
March 03, 2012 at 9:00 am

I worked at GS in London and I gotta say he has a few fair points. I don’t know much about what happened behind closed doors and on the trading floors, but many of the people I dealt with were arrogant, self-important and rude. This included people at all levels within the business from interns to MDs. There is no doubt that there is a lot of flash and egotistical behaviour and certainly and attitude that money buys you anything. However, while there were people with no regard for others, there are also a lot of really good people who work there too, some of whom are my friends.
I think he has just said what most people know already and are too afraid to say and I doubt very much that this is unique to GS – all big investment banks are similar at their core.

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