Mumbais iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel has played host to some of the worlds most famous royalty,celebrities,thinkers and policymakers. Thursday was no different,with access to the presidential suite of the historic structure blocked to non-guests as the 12 directors of Goldman Sachs board congregated to deliberate on the future of the 142-year-old Wall Street firm that has been fighting lawsuits and losses.
While most officials of Goldman Sachs remained tight-lipped about the agenda of the board meet,it is believed that India will serve as the venue where the investment bank of Wall Street will split the roles of chairman and chief executive,both currently held by Lloyd Blankfein.
The US major,which is,at times,perceived to be uncomfortably close to the US treasury department,will also look at enhancing its electronic trading offering in the fixed income space to its clients.
Sources further said that the board will also discuss the way ahead for the bank in the midst of losses and lawsuits,haunting it ever since the subprime crisis hit the global economy in 2008.
Incidentally,2011 saw Goldman Sachs post its first full-year loss in Asia since 2008.
According to a filing early this month with the US Securities and Exchange Commission,the investment bank lost a net $103 million in Asia for 2011,after posting a $2.1 billion net profit in the region the previous year. Revenue slid 46 per cent to $3.86 billion in 2011 from $7.15 billion a year earlier.
This is the first time ever that the board of Goldman Sachs,which reported a 56 per cent drop in fourth-quarter profit in January,is meeting in India and completes the banks journey through BRIC nations as it has previously held meetings in Brazil,Russia and China. The meeting is looked upon as a sign of the banks commitment towards India.
The entire top brass of the bank is on a three-day visit to the country,beginning in Mumbai and moving into Delhi on Friday. A grand dinner with some of Indias industrialists is also on the menu of the board members. FE