A 'remarkable' Goldman Sachs hire

Lloyd Fonzie Blankfein

It is exceedingly rare for Goldman to hire anyone, let alone a woman, laterally into its coveted partnership ranks.

Back in the real world of Wall Street - and away from the absurdity of the @GSElevator hoax - Bloomberg contributor William D. Cohan has the bizarre story of Alice 'A.J.' Murphy, one of the most highly respected women in finance.

Cohan reports that last week, the actual Goldman Sachs hired Murphy away from Merrill Lynch, the investment-banking division of Bank of America, as a partner managing director and the global head of leveraged finance origination. Murphy had been co-head of leveraged finance at Merrill Lynch.

It is exceedingly rare for Goldman to hire anyone, let alone a woman (and the mother of four children under 8), laterally into its coveted partnership ranks. 

But Goldman’s hiring of Murphy is remarkable for another reason: She is one of the rare people whose former employer, Merrill Lynch, has denied her the paid 'gardening leave' of three to six months that has become standard practice when senior bankers and traders change jobs.

According to the Wall Street Journal and the Twitterverse, Thomas Montag, a former Goldman partner and the co-chief operating officer of Bank of America, personally denied Murphy’s gardening leave request. Maybe Montag is angry that Goldman stole one of his firm’s top performers. Maybe he is irked that a competitor lured away one of the few senior women on Wall Street.

To access the complete Bloomberg View article hit the link below:

Goldman Sachs Leans In, Merrill Lynch Leans Out

William D. Cohan, a Bloomberg View columnist, is the author of the forthcoming The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite and the Corruption of Our Great Universities, as well as Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World and the New York Times best-sellers House of Cards and The Last Tycoons.

Cohan is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and writes frequently for the Financial Times, Fortune, the Atlantic and the Washington Post. He worked on Wall Street as a senior mergers and acquisitions banker for 15 years. He also worked for two years at GE Capital. Cohan is a graduate of Duke University, Columbia University School of Journalism and Columbia University Graduate School of Business. The Last Tycoons won the 2007 Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

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