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Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.: Sustaining the Franchise

Published 28 Apr 2014
Reference 6057
Region Global
Summary

This case traces the history of Goldman Sachs from its origins as it grows from a partnership to one of the most valuable franchises in the global securities industry and ultimately a listed corporation, and its transformation into a bank holding company under the regulatory oversight of the Federal Reserve. Even by the standards of the financial services sector - significantly restructured in recent decades - Goldman Sachs has undergone transformative configurations while straining to hold on to the attributes that made it an industry leader. There are successes and failures, and the case focuses on the future direction of the firm in a market and regulatory environment very different from the past.

Teaching objectives

The objective is to apply tools of industrial organization and competitive analysis to an extraordinary firm in the financial services sector which, for internal and external reasons, has become a much more ordinary firm. The role of strategic positioning and execution are emphasized, as are the problems of institutional complexity, compliance and ethics, and corporate culture.

Keywords
  • Investment banking
  • Bank strategy
  • Securities
  • Bank culture
  • Regulation
  • Financial ethics
  • Q31314