Goldman Sachs 2001 Annual Report Goldman Sachs

Letter to Shareholders Core Businesses Business Principles September 11 Response Financials Clients

Sept 11 Response>

John A. Thain, Henry M. Paulson, Jr., John L. Thornton


John A. Thain
President and
Co-Chief Operating Officer

Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer

John L. Thornton
President and
Co-Chief Operating Officer

It is impossible to discuss 2001 without beginning with the events of September 11. While our 13,000 people in the downtown New York area were unharmed and our facilities largely untouched, the stunning and savage attack on the World Trade Center, just a few blocks away from our headquarters, represented a formidable challenge in operational and human terms. We are proud to report that the people of Goldman Sachs, not just in New York but around the world, met this challenge with courage, resilience and initiative.

But even as our people worked tirelessly to keep Goldman Sachs up and running, they never forgot the human dimension of the September 11 tragedy. They reached out to provide comfort to those who had lost loved ones and friends in the attack. And together with the firm, they provided needed material assistance in the form of more than $11 million in donations for the victims of this crime. In short, September 11 tested us as a firm and as individuals in a way we had never been tested. And we emerged stronger than ever before. Our corporate culture had again proven its enduring value.

This year's report focuses on the Business Principles and the core values that embody our culture: commitment to the client, teamwork, integrity, professional excellence and entrepreneurial spirit. These values not only serve our clients and shareholders; they also set us apart from other firms, making us the employer of choice in our industry.

Our culture of teamwork allows us to pull together the best thinking from different parts of the firm and deliver integrated solutions to complex client problems.
Our emphasis on integrity makes us a firm that individuals, corporations, institutions and governments can trust.
Our commitment to professional excellence and a true meritocracy ensures that our clients receive the very best service that our industry can offer.
Our focus on entrepreneurship means that we are always searching for new ways to promote our customers' interests.

Maintaining the Goldman Sachs culture is therefore a critical task. But it is not easy. Like any competitive edge, our culture must be continually reinforced and adapted or it will atrophy. Though some were concerned that our decision to go public in 1999 would undermine our core values, we disagreed. We believe that our culture reflects much more than our ownership structure. Instead, it is the manifestation of the values that have been impressed upon us for years—constantly communicated from the top down—and the behavior and actions that are reinforced through our 360-degree performance reviews and rewarded through promotions, compensation and peer approval.

Our initial public offering, in fact, enhanced our culture by spreading ownership—and a personal stake in our success—throughout the firm. But our culture does face a challenge: our growing size. It is far easier to inculcate and perpetuate core values in an organization of 5,000 people than it is in one of over 22,000. The major task confronting us today—as it did in 1999 and will for the foreseeable future—is managing growth.

In the financial services industry, where people are absolutely critical, size can become the enemy of excellence. It is our job to make sure that this does not happen at Goldman Sachs, where our culture is a magnet for talent. This is because we offer outstanding people—high achievers—the opportunity to work with other outstanding people as part of a mutually supportive team in a collaborative environment. Our people are motivated by job content, which has never been more interesting, and by working in a meritocracy where they are tested with great responsibility. They demand career development opportunities and care deeply about the values that Goldman Sachs represents.




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