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We’ve done it before: Goldman tells investors why they should trust its ambitions

The bank says it remains committed to excellence, but its biggest pitch seems to be that it doesn’t feel the need to be the leader in everything it does any more. That may give it the flexibility it needs as it develops into new areas, but will it be enough to satisfy shareholders?

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David Solomon
/ Getty Images

When Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon stood in front of analysts to lay out three-year financial targets at the bank's first ever investor day on January 29, he knew the questions he had to answer: How was he going to change the firm? How would that make things better for investors? And why should anyone believe him?

Solomon had plenty of answers. Goldman remained a proud advocate of capitalism – that had not changed. But it would broaden the scope of its business and of its clients. And it would get better at presenting every part of itself to those clients: with no great imagination, the bank is calling that effort ‘One Goldman Sachs’.

It would improve existing businesses, start new ones, raise revenues and cut expenses. And as an overlay to all this, it would be more transparent and accessible about its operations, engaging more with the outside world about its plans and progress.

That last commitment was perhaps the most telling.

In the past, no one really cared to ask questions about Goldman's strategy.

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