Currencies

Nomura rounds up markets’ biggest misses in 2016

Forecasting markets a year in advance is never easy, but with “year-ahead investment themes” season well underway, Nomura has provided a handy reminder of quite how difficult it is, with an overview of markets’ biggest hits and misses (OK, mostly misses) from the start of 2016. The biggest miss among analysts, according to Nomura’s Sam […]

Continue Reading

Property

Spanish construction rebuilds after market collapse

Property developer Olivier Crambade founded Therus Invest in Madrid in 2004 to build offices and retail space. For five years business went quite well, and Therus developed and sold more than €300m of properties. Then Spain’s economy imploded, taking property with it, and Mr Crambade spent six years tending to Dhamma Energy, a solar energy […]

Continue Reading

Currencies

Euro suffers worst month against the pound since financial crisis

Political risks are still all the rage in the currency markets. The euro has suffered its worst slump against the pound since 2009 in November, as investors hone in on a series of looming battles between eurosceptic populists and establishment parties at the ballot box. The single currency has shed 4.5 per cent against sterling […]

Continue Reading

Banks

RBS falls 2% after failing BoE stress test

Royal Bank of Scotland shares have slipped 2 per cent in early trading this morning, after the state-controlled lender emerged as the biggest loser in the Bank of England’s latest round of annual stress tests. The lender has now given regulators a plan to bulk up its capital levels by cutting costs and selling assets, […]

Continue Reading

Currencies

China capital curbs reflect buyer’s remorse over market reforms

Last year the reformist head of China’s central bank convinced his Communist party bosses to give market forces a bigger say in setting the renminbi’s daily “reference rate” against the US dollar. In return, Zhou Xiaochuan assured his more conservative party colleagues that the redback would finally secure coveted recognition as an official reserve currency […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Financial

Sherwood quits role as Goldman Sachs European co-head


Posted on November 21, 2016

Michael Sherwood, Goldman Sachs’s co-head of Europe, is quitting the investment bank after a three-decade career in which he became one of the industry’s highest earners but was embroiled in a recent spat over BHS, the failed UK retailer.

Often listed as one of the potential successors to Lloyd Blankfein for the top job at Goldman, Mr Sherwood joined the bank at the age of 20 and has overseen rapid growth in its European operations since taking joint charge of them 11 years ago.

Mr Sherwood — widely known as “Woody” — will remain at the bank as a senior director during a handover period of about six months. Richard Gnodde, the other co-head of Goldman Sachs International, will take full control of the European operation.

The departure removes one of Goldman’s longest serving European executives at a time when the bank is grappling with the uncertainty arising from the UK’s exit from the EU, triggering rumours that it may move activities out of London.

Mr Sherwood has faced questions internally from senior executives since being called to appear before a UK parliamentary committee about the bank’s role in advising Sir Philip Green over the retail magnate’s ill-fated sale of BHS, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr Sherwood was among several senior executives who helped Sir Philip sell BHS to a consortium led by Dominic Chappell, a former bankrupt, about a year before the 88-year-old department store collapsed in April.

He denied his departure was linked to the BHS controversy. “I’ve been talking to Lloyd since well before that about what I want to do next,” he told the Financial Times. “He has spent most of his time trying to persuade me to stay.”

“I didn’t want to have anything out there before I left. On Philip Green, I wish we hadn’t been involved and I certainly don’t think we did anything much wrong,” he said. “It is one blip in a 30-year career and it really played no part in my decision.”

A former fixed income trader, Mr Sherwood has regularly been one of the highest paid employees at Goldman, earning $21m last year. He said his departure was “entirely amicable”, adding: “There are so many great people here and they are already picking over my job”.

Last week, Goldman disclosed that Mr Sherwood had sold $184,810 of shares in the bank, leaving him with 361,978 shares, worth $76.1m at Friday’s closing price.

His time as co-head of Europe has been peppered with controversy, including over Goldman’s role in advising the Greek government on swaps that were criticised for masking the size of the country’s debts.

The bank was last month cleared in a High Court ruling of allegations that it took advantage of the financial inexperience of Libya’s sovereign investment fund to sell it costly and complex financial products.

After leaving Goldman, Mr Sherwood plans to focus on his personal investments and philanthropic activities, particularly Greenhouse Sports, a charity that provides training in various sports to children in poorer parts of London. “I’m absolutely going to take some break before I decide to do anything.”