Thursday 8 December 2016

Goldman Sachs boss Blankfein says has 'highly curable' form of lymphoma

Published 22/09/2015 | 16:12

Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, delivers remarks at the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women/State Department Entrepreneurship Program at the State Department in Washington, March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, delivers remarks at the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women/State Department Entrepreneurship Program at the State Department in Washington, March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein has said he had a "highly curable" form of lymphoma, and would be able to work substantially as normal during treatment.

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Treatment will include chemotherapy over the next several months in New York, Blankfein said in a statement on the bank's website.

The bank's shares fell 2.2pc to $179.31.

While Blankfein, 61, is undergoing chemotherapy, other senior bank officials will assume some of his responsibilities in dealing with the public, including Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn, the second highest ranking executive, a person familiar with the matter said. Blankfein said he will curtail some travel while he is treated.

The bank's board has succession plans in place for multiple contingencies, the source said.

Goldman executives said Blankfein has never hinted at when he might retire or his plans after Goldman. Obvious internal successors include Cohn, Vice Chairman Michael Sherwood, investment banking co-head David Solomon, Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz and Chief Strategy Officer Stephen Scherr.

Blankfein's disclosure comes a little more than a year after JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon said he had throat cancer. Dimon continued to lead the bank during treatment.

Blankfein's life is a classic New York rags-to-riches story. He was born in the South Bronx and raised in a housing project in the East New York neighborhood in Brooklyn. His father worked at the post office, and his mother was a receptionist.

He worked his way through Harvard College and Harvard Law School, helped by financial aid. After graduating Harvard Law, his first job was as a tax lawyer. In 1981, he joined commodities broker J. Aron & Co as a gold salesman just months after the firm was bought by Goldman. He rose through the ranks at J. Aron and then Goldman, becoming president and chief operating officer in 2004.

Blankfein has been the bank's chairman and CEO since 2006.

"I HAVE A LOT OF ENERGY"

Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, which is a part of the immune system that carries away waste and transports white-blood cells that attack disease. It can occur as Hodgkin lymphoma, which has a five-year survival rate of about 86 percent, or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which has a five-year survival rate of about 70 percent.

Blankfein did not disclose the type of lymphoma or the stage of his cancer. He received a final diagnosis on Monday around midday, and informed Goldman's board of directors around 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT), the source said.

"There are many people who are dealing with cancer every day," Blankfein said. "I draw on their experiences as I begin my own. I have a lot of energy and I'm anxious to begin the treatment."

JPMorgan's shares lost more than 3 percent of their value in the week following Dimon's announcement, more than 2 percentage points worse than the KBW bank stock index.

Reuters

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