In Sherwood’s voicemail, left for staff in Europe shortly after a memo on his resignation was sent on November 21, the three-decade Goldman banker told colleagues that it was “with a heavy heart” that he was announcing his retirement.
It’s not the first time Goldman employees have received a voicemail from a senior executive. In fact, it’s a common practice at the Wall Street bank.
Teams in one timezone often leave voicemails for groups of colleagues in others to update them on particular projects. Some bankers might communicate sensitive information to their teams via group voicemails rather than in an email that could be leaked. And business leaders such as Sherwood and group chief executive Lloyd Blankfein use voicemail to leave company-wide messages regarding big announcements or quarterly earnings.
Other pieces of recent Goldman news to have been accompanied by a voicemail include the result of the US presidential election, after which Blankfein left staff a message, and the result of the UK’s referendum on European Union membership, which Sherwood addressed in a separate message.
Sherwood’s resignation leaves Richard Gnodde, his co-chief executive of Goldman Sachs International, running the division. However, Sherwood will remain a senior director of the bank, a spokesman said, keeping a London office and continuing to handle some client-facing work for the firm.
A transcript of his voicemail, which was seen by FN and verified by a spokesman for the bank, is published in full below.
This is Michael Sherwood with a message to everyone in Europe.
After 30 years at Goldman Sachs it is with a heavy heart that I announce today my retirement effective as of the end of this year.
I joined Goldman Sachs in London in 1986, I was still 20 and a two-year investment banking analyst and I ended up staying almost 30 years. My entire adult life has been spent at the firm. I was a partner for 22 years and responsible for Europe for the last 13, 11 of which was with Richard Gnodde.
I am proud of the transition we have been through from a tiny office with a couple of hundred people to the incredible franchise that we have today. There have been so many great people who have helped me along the way and I’m so excited about the group of people that I am leaving behind who will continue to perpetuate our incredible franchise as we move forward. I couldn’t be more appreciative of all the opportunities that I have had with Goldman over the years and I’m also extremely happy that our management team is so strong and that with Richard and the rest of the European management committee will continue to be extraordinary in Europe
I look forward to working with many of you in my capacity as a senior director. In the meantime, I am grateful for all your commitment to preserving and enhancing our culture and our franchise. Goldman Sachs is an extraordinary special place and I know it’s in good hands.
Thank you all for your support over so many years.