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The Partnership

The Making of Goldman Sachs

By Charles D. Ellis

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Format: Paperback, 768 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 October 2009
Despite financial turmoil, Goldman Sachs remain the leading investment bank in their field. They are notorious for their unique management culture, unorthodox recruiting techniques - and for their secrecy. In The Partnership Charles Ellis reveals their story. With unparalleled access to the leadership of this famously close-knit firm, Ellis investigates the brilliant individuals who turned a marginal family business into a global powerhouse, weathering recession, scandal and disaster on the way. Among them are high school dropout and financial genius Sidney Weinberg, maverick reinventor John Whitehead, former US treasury secretary Hank Paulson and working-class New Yorker turned current CEO, Lloyd Blankfein. The Partnership reveals the shared values of intensive recruitment, discipline and talent that have tied Goldman Sachs's people together - and made it a survivor.

About the Author

Charles D.Ellis is a consultant to large institutional investors and government agencies. For thirty years he was managing partner of Greenwich Associates, an international business strategy consulting firm he founded that serves virtually all the leading financial service organisations around the world. Ellis earned his M.B.A from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from New York University. He has taught investment management courses at Harvard and Yale and is the author of twelve books, mostly on investing, and has written nearly one hundred articles for business and professional magazines. Ellis has served on the boards of Harvard Business School and Phillips Exeter Academy.


In this history of investment bank Goldman Sachs, Ellis (Winning the Loser's Game) covers the same ground as Lisa Endlich's Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success--with notable stylistic differences. From Marcus Goldman's purchase of his first commercial paper in 1869 to the firm's current success, Ellis's account is lively and engaging where Endlich's is accurate but dry. Ellis sheds light on events through dialogue and detailed descriptions of people's thoughts and feelings, embellishments that the author terms "recreations" in his epilogue. The effect of infusing such narrative techniques into the history of Goldman Sachs is entertaining, but it pushes the envelope of nonfiction, especially since the author appears to have interviewed only former partners of the firm. More damagingly, Ellis fails to report much about actual business, and attempts to do so--such as a chapter on Rockefeller Center financing--require lengthy digressions and are incomprehensible due to the complexities of the transactions. Without links to business, boardroom conflicts take on the air of petty squabbles. More a composite memoir of senior Goldman partners than a traditional history, this book will satisfy readers curious about the philosophies and personalities of the firm. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Ellis, an author and former financial consultant, tells the story of how Goldman Sachs evolved from a sole proprietorship in the 1870s to today's global financial juggernaut. He works in profiles of dozens of the company's leaders, humorous anecdotes, and riveting details of financial crises. He tells how the firm has managed to meld teamwork with competition, a caring culture with high work standards, and making a profit with upholding its reputation. Always focused on recruiting the best people, Goldman Sachs, he explains, has used its intellectual capital to find and exploit widely divergent financial opportunities. From investment banking to arbitrage, from asset management to proprietary trading, it has cultivated success. While Ellis does not ignore some of the firm's unsavory episodes (e.g., insider trading accusations or its dalliance with the late master manipulator Robert Maxwell), he presents the accomplishments of Goldman Sachs as generally praiseworthy. His work is both an insightful company history and an enlightening view of the financial services industry. It is essential for all academic and larger public library business collections.--Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ., Erie, PA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

" Rich with insider lore as well as the closed-door dramas of partnership clashes." -"The New York Times Book Review" "Exhaustively researched . . . paints a convincing picture of an institution that has got most of the important things right." -"The Economist"

EAN: 9780141035246
ISBN: 0141035242
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 3.2 centimetres (0.54 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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