Increasingly however, bankers want to be seen as human beings and not as money machines. I was amused that even Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, is keen to portray a cuddlier image. In March, Blankfein appeared on CBSs evening news programme espousing the cause of gay marriage.
We are a big employer, [and] its a business issue as well as a civil rights issue, he said earnestly. And then just to show that bankers can do empathy, Lloyd continued: I know there are still people today who are living lives burdened by not being able to reveal who they really are and are living in a state of discomfort. That is really unfortunate and I feel sorry.
Loveable Lloyd has recently grown a stubbly beard and now resembles a cross between a hedgehog and an eccentric professor. But he is not the only financier straying into the area of sexual politics. I also noticed that Helena Morrissey, chief executive of Newton Investment Management and the mother of nine children, has been appointed by the British Liberal Democrat party to examine the partys culture and processes.
This investigation has been prompted by allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Lord Rennard, a former party chairman, towards female Liberal Democrats. Lord Rennard denies these allegations.
Im not quite sure how an ability to manage money qualifies Morrissey to sort out the gender problems of the Liberal Democrat party. But I salute her wide-ranging interests and ability to juggle a lot of different balls. Perhaps Morrissey had read an advanced copy of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandbergs book, Lean in: women, work and the will to lead?