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Goldman Sachs' potential next CEO has 5 children & a wife who's best friends with Gwyneth

Now that John Waldron's star at Goldman Sachs is less shiny than before, new names are being suggested as the eventual replacement for CEO David Solomon. Solomon is showing no signs of retiring imminently but all good things must come to an end.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, his potential replacements include 53 year-old Dan Dees, the current global co-head of the banking and markets business with Ashok Varadhan. 

Unlike David Solomon, who joined Goldman mid-career from Bear Stearns, Missouri-born Dees joined Goldman as an analyst in 1992 after leaving Duke University and has since climbed the ranks. A TMT banker by trade and the former co-head of investment banking for Goldman Sachs in Asia, Dees was promoted as head of the investment banking franchise in 2019 along with Gregg Lemkau. Lemkau left Goldman in November 2020, leaving Dees as the co-head of the banking side of the banking and markets business with Jim Esposito. Esposito left last month. ostensibly of his own accord after mislaying his mojo. In banking, Dees looks like the last man standing. 

While his two predecessors as co-heads of banking appear to have disagreements with Solomon (Lemkau and Solomon allegedly had a "tiff" over Lemkau's insistence on working remotely from his home in Hawaii during COVID, and Esposito objected to the consumer strategy) Dees and Solomon seem closer. When Dees was promoted in 2018, Bloomberg said the two had worked together in the capital markets group when Solomon first joined Goldman. 

Dees has similarities to Waldron, whose shoes he filled as co-head of investment banking when Waldron was promoted to COO and president in 2018. 

However, while Waldron is ostensibly a folksy mild-mannered man with six children and a penchant for making peanut butter sandwiches, Dees - who has five children and is based in LA - is more flashy. He reportedly had a cashmere hoodie named after him by Gwyneth Paltrow. It helps that his wife of three decades, Daun Dees, is Paltrow's long term confidant. 

Daun Dees, who began her career as a school teacher, also runs a successful jumpsuit company, Rivet Utility, whose products are popular with the likes of Oprah. Her husband can be seen modelling one of her products in a recent post on LinkedIn.  

Even before the latest changes to Goldman's executive committee, Euromoney suggested that Dees was on a trajectory to the top following his assured performance at last year's investor day. If he makes it to the CEO role, Goldman could be a more glitzy place than it is now. At the very least Gwyneth might be more a frequent fixture in the Talks with Goldman Sachs series. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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