Goldman's Blankfein Looks to Resume Full Schedule

Dow Jones Newswires

Goldman Sachs Group Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, who was diagnosed in September with a curable form of lymphoma, is making tentative plans to resume his full work schedule at the Wall Street firm in early 2016, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Blankfein has been a steady presence within Goldman's downtown Manhattan headquarters since disclosing his illness, heading into the office on most days he wasn't undergoing chemotherapy, the people said. Mr. Blankfein has hosted client events, including a dinner with bank CEOs earlier this month, and has made a handful of other public appearances. The 61-year-old has also made preliminary plans to attend the World Economic Forum, where many top business and government leaders descend on the Swiss city of Davos near the end of next month, the people said. His treatment regimen ends in January. Hisprognosis, though, may not be clear for months, or possibly years, they said. At a Dec. 7 dinner for the firm's retired partners, held at The Pierre hotel in midtown Manhattan, Mr. Blankfein acknowledged that chemotherapy had been harder on him than he expected, according to people familiar with his remarks. He said that on the Sunday night before the dinner,he went to the emergency room,which he has described as a precaution. But he also reiterated that he has no plans to leave Goldman. "Why am I still the CEO of Goldman Sachs?" Mr. Blankfein asked. "I don't know. I like it." The annual retired-partner dinner was attended by some current managers, including President Gary Cohn, as well as prominent alumni such as one-time Goldman Senior Partner Jon Corzine. In his remarks, Mr. Blankfein also weighed in on the dilemma facing many banks with big fixed-income trading operations, which have been slumping across Wall Street. Earlier this month, Morgan Stanley began cutting 1,200 jobs, including about 25% of its debt and commodities traders and salespeople, people familiar with the matter have said. Mr. Blankfein said that while competitors have had to cut back, Goldman has no plans to do the same, according to people who attended the dinner. "We think about it, and always think about it," he added. Indeed, Goldman has already trimmed 10% of its fixed-income staff in recent years. Mr. Blankfein assured employees, board members and shareholders in September that he would continue his duties at Goldman. Doctors have restricted his travel, and in some instances Mr. Cohn stood in for his boss at speaking events and conferences. Mr. Blankfein also didn't specify details on his diagnosis, including what form of lymphoma he was fighting.

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