In an unusual move, Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon is likely to appear on the firm’s earnings call on Wednesday, underscoring a new effort by the once prestigious investment bank to rebuild its image with investors amid persistent questions over its business model and a scandal that has rocked the firm, FOX Business Network has learned.
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The earnings call will be Solomon’s second since taking over as CEO for Lloyd Blankfein on October 1. Blankfein served 12 years at the helm of Goldman, managing the firm through some of the most profitable periods, through the 2008 financial crisis, and most recently as it struggled to maintain its reputation as the world’s leading investment bank catering to the biggest companies and super-rich investors.
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Stymied by new post-financial crisis regulations and other issues, Goldman’s once gold-plated reputation has come under question amid declining earnings and an under-performing stock price during Blankfein’s last several years as CEO. According to the Wall Street Journal, analysts have cut their expectations for Goldman’s fourth quarter earnings per share more than at any of the other banks, and the price of Goldman’s stock has basically flat-lined over the last five years, despite a 45 percent gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average during that same period of time.
Shares of Goldman have declined more than 30 percent over the past year.
Compounding the poor financial performance, Goldman is in the midst of a burgeoning scandal over its involvement with the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund known as 1MDB; Goldman underwrote bonds issued by the fund with fees that substantially exceeded what most Wall Street firms charge for such work. The U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC are investigating whether Goldman properly informed investors about the risks associated with the fund; Goldman has been accused of embezzling and laundering billions of dollars.