Goldman Sachs may opt for float

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The Independent Online
New York - The 174 general partners of Goldman Sachs gather for an annual get-together in a country-club resort hotel outside New York City today amid intense speculation that the bank may shortly opt to sell itself to the public, writes David Usborne.

Analysts predict that a prompt flotation could raise funds equal to 2.5 or even three times the book value of the bank. At issue is whether the bank, founded in 1869 by Marcus Goldman, can remain competitive with a capital base estimated at $5bn, that is both expensive relative to those of its competitors and inherently volatile. An exodus of more than 30 partners in the wake of the1994 profits collapse threatens to shrink its base by as much as 10 per cent.