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Capital Markets

Macaskill on markets: Goldman’s poor performance stokes succession speculation

Goldman’s bottom-of-the-class second-quarter trading performance has sparked renewed speculation about the succession to chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

Jon Macaskill is one of the leading capital markets and derivatives journalists, with over 20 years’ experience covering financial markets from London and New York. Most recently he worked at one of the biggest global investment banks

Jon Macaskill is one of the leading capital markets and derivatives journalists, with over 20 years’ experience covering financial markets from London and New York. Most recently he worked at one of the biggest global investment banks

There are signs of a coalition developing within Goldman around the rallying cry ABC – Anyone But Cohn – for the next chief executive.

That might seem surprising, given that president and COO Gary Cohn was instrumental in developing the trading and risk-management machine that made Goldman the undisputed global investment banking leader over the past decade. But poor trading performance is combining with 2010’s reputational risk buffeting to threaten Cohn’s path to the top job.

Blankfein might hold on to the chief executive slot long enough to reshape the succession debate, but a consensus is building that there is a fundamental problem with a handover to his longstanding number two: Cohn’s personality.

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