Feature: Building Business

Genius or Sucker? The Dilemma of Being a Goldman Sachs Client

Author: Leslie L. Kossoff
Published: March 15, 2012 at 8:30 am
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So there you are - a bazillionnaire. Or, possibly, someone responsible for overseeing the bazillions of others. Like the investment manager of a pension fund.

You're always being approached by the Big Boys - from investment banks to private equity houses. They want your money. And why wouldn't they? After all, their job is to turn your money into more.

But for whom?

And that's the big question - now more than ever - if these bazillions will ever touch the corporate shores of Goldman Sachs again.

All because of Greg Smith.

If you've missed the excitement, Smith resigned from Goldman in a big way. Fifteen minutes after emailing his resignation to management, his NY Times Op-Ed piece was published.

That one little piece of personal journalism led to media hordes over-crowding the front of Goldman's portals, with innumerable articles being written on every conceivable platform and medium, with commentators of all kinds (yours truly included) talking about the lessons learned (and yet to be learned).

Which brings us back to our bazillionnaire Goldman client - because, let's face it, Goldman only deals with bazillionnaires. Even the low end of the 1% isn't that interesting to them.

So, the question for this ridiculously rich person, based on all the media coverage, is: So? Are you a genius or a sucker for doing business with Sachs?

Why that has become just as compelling a question as the hue and cry that Smith's writing raised, is because it makes one wonder.

Here's a company that has been indicted and settled with the Government (to the tune of $550 million) as a result of their 'questionable' practices toward their clients. Like selling an investment instrument to their clients that another client developed specifically to bet against the suckers who were doing the buying.

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Article Author: Leslie L. Kossoff

Founder and CEO of Leadership Quantified (http://leadershipquantified.com). Former Executive Advisor to executives and entrepreneurs ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50s worldwide. Author of two books...and counting. Paris, music and book lover. …

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