Analysis Of Goldman Sachs

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The Company

Goldman Sachs is one of the oldest and largest financial intermediaries and brokerage firms in the United States. Goldman Sachs began in 1869 as the sole enterprise of Bavarian immigrant Marcus Goldman who would buy promissory notes from New York City merchants at a discount, giving them the cash needed to operate their businesses, and then sell those notes to commercial banks for a small profit or “spread.” After thirteen years as a one-man show in the mercantile paper trade, in 1882 he took on as partner Samuel Sachs, the husband of his oldest daughter (Ellis, 2008). The firm’s partnership structure lasted 117 years until 1999 when Goldman Sachs sold equity shares in an initial public offering. Today it trades under the ticker “GS” and as of December 10, 2010 had an equity market value of $86 billion and over 35,000 employees worldwide.
As written in its 2009 annual form 10-K, Goldman Sachs is a:

“global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals”.
(Goldman Sachs Form 10-K, 2009)

Goldman’s three primary business segments are investment banking, asset management, and trading and principal investments. Investment banking involves capital raising, merger and acquisition advisory, and valuation assignments from which Goldman receives fee and underwriting income.

Asset management (often used interchangeably with the term wealth management) involves the managing and investing of financial assets of large institutions like pension funds and corporations as well as high net-worth individuals. Goldman’s la...

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...uses on the level of tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity within the society. A High Uncertainty Avoidance ranking indicates the country has a low tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. This creates a rule-oriented society that institutes laws, rules, regulations, and controls in order to reduce the amount of uncertainty. A Low Uncertainty Avoidance ranking indicates the country has less concern about ambiguity and uncertainty and has more tolerance for a diversity of opinions. This is reflected in a society that is less rule-oriented, more readily accepts change, and takes more and greater risks.
Long-Term Orientation (LTO) (formerly called "Confucian dynamism") focuses on the degree the society embraces, or does not embrace, long-term devotion to traditional values.
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