Goldman picks 57 new partners

GOLDMAN SACHS, the US bank, has named 57 new partners - more than had been expected - including Abby Cohen, one of Wall Street's most famous bulls.

The new partners have the opportunity to share in flotation windfalls if and when Goldman Sachs, one of the oldest banking partnerships, decides to come to market.

The bank had planned to float towards the end of the year, but recently shelved the move because of the volatile conditions in the global financial markets.

Becoming a partner at Goldman Sachs is one of Wall Street's most coveted prizes. Many banking analysts believe the partnership culture is the secret of Goldman Sachs' success, prompting pundits to predict that flotation could fatally damage the bank.

Being a partner at Goldman Sachs - a privilege enjoyed by 246 of the bank's 12,500 employees - is immensely lucrative. Back in the summer, when the firm announced plans to float, the equity stakes of the most senior partners were valued at more than $100m.

Ms Cohen, chief strategist, is perhaps the best-known of the new partners. Ms Cohen is one of the most bullish strategists in Wall Street, and predicted, back in July 1996, that the Dow Jones Industrial Average would break 6000 by year-end.

Named top 1998 portfolio strategist by Institutional Investor magazine, Ms Cohen's reputation was also bolstered by her anticipation of a stock decline weeks before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. More recently, Ms Cohen predicted that the recent turmoil in the markets will soon be forgotten.

Most of the new partners are US based, and many come from the investment banking side. Nine of the new appointees are from London, and two are from Frankfurt. Aside from Ms Cohen, other notable additions to the partnership include Andrew Chisholm and Christopher French, co-heads of financial institutions. Malcolm Turnbull, head of Goldman's Australian business and leader of the Australian Republican movement, also made partner.

Jon Corzine and Henry Paulson, co-chairmen and chief executives, said: "These appointments recognise the contributions and potential of some of the firm's most valued senior professionals."

Goldman Sachs only names new partners once every two years.