Is Goldman Sachs' partnership losing some of its shine?

Oh, hi again! Dan DeFrancesco back in NYC, and I'm feeling thankful that I'm not in Australia, where I might need to pry a crocodile's jaws off my head.

Today, we've got stories on 19 stocks you should bet on, a familiar Wall Streeter who seems to have already won big on the AI craze, and shows that you should watch now that "Succession" is over.

But first, I'm giving my two weeks.

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Frederick Baba Goldman Sachs
Frederick Baba Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs

1. Sayonara, Goldman.

The Tuesday after Memorial Day is always tricky. Returning to work while trying to shake off a hangover or recover from some sunburn isn't ideal. (Let alone having to do it from your cubicle if you're at JPMorgan!)

As if all that wasn't enough, the leadership at Goldman Sachs had another cross to bear on Tuesday: two of its high-profile partners exiting the bank.

Fred Baba, one of Goldman's youngest partners, and Dina Powell McCormick, a former government official who ran the bank's sovereign business and sustainability efforts, are both reportedly leaving the firm.

Baba, whose exit was first reported by Bloomberg, was viewed as one to watch at the firm and across Wall Street as he rose the ranks within the bank's rates business. (In fact, he made our annual list of rising stars on Wall Street in 2020.)

The 34-year-old's impact, though, was felt beyond trading, as Baba gained a public following after writing an internal memo that went viral about his experience being Black in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

Now, around six months after reaching partner status, Baba is headed for the door and reportedly fielding offers from rival non-bank trading firms, including Jane Street, per Bloomberg.

Powell McCormick, whose departure was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, has been at Goldman since 2007, save for a brief stint working under President Donald Trump as a deputy national security advisor for strategy. She's joining up with another pair of Goldman alums' in Byron Trott and Gregg Lemkau at BDT & MSD Partners, where she'll serve as vice chairman and president of global client services.

The exits come amidst a difficult few months for Goldman, which has seen a change in strategy, a reorg, disappointment over bonuses, and layoffs.

And the pain isn't over, as another round of layoffs could be coming to the bank as soon as in the next few weeks, per The Wall Street Journal. The ax is expected to fall on a range of employees, including managing directors and other senior executives, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Partner departures are to be expected, and for a time were welcomed as CEO David Solomon looked to shrink the group in order to bring back some of its prestige.

But Baba's exit shortly after being welcomed into the exclusive group seems surprising. Add in the fact that he could land at a firm like Jane Street that has competed, and beat, Goldman at its own game, and you start to see why his decision might turn heads.

Powell McCormick's departure, meanwhile, illustrates how former partners can become a thorn in the bank's side by scooping up top talent from Goldman after they leave.

That begs the question: Has Goldman Sachs' partnership lost some of its luster?

As recently as five years ago, a freshly minted partner exiting the bank would have been somewhat unheard of. But nowadays, as Goldman looks to right the ship amid a dealmaking drought, it doesn't seem as drastic as a move.

Click here for more on Fred Baba's departure.

And here's a running list of partners who have left Goldman Sachs under David Solomon.

In other news:

It's always sunny
It's always sunny


2. Some top stock picks from our rising stars. We asked our newest class of rising stars in equity research — check out that list here — to share the stocks they're bullish on. Here are the 19 stocks they're most excited about.

3. Who is Wall Street going to back for president? As the 2024 US presidential race inches closer, finance executives are contemplating who to support. According to The Wall Street Journal, many of the industry's power players aren't looking forward to Biden-Trump part II. Here are some of the alternative options.

4. For boutique investment bank Centerview, success comes with its own headaches. A lawsuit from one of its former star bankers is highlighting an issue for Centerview of how it can maintain its tight-knit culture as it continues to grow bigger, the Financial Times reported.

5. An early winner in the AI craze: Steve Cohen. The billionaire's hedge fund Point72 bought up nearly a million shares of Nvidia, which has seen its share price soar thanks to its role providing hardware for AI projects. Here's how that bet is looking now.

6. JPMorgan is targeting the richest families in the world. The group, entitled 23 Wall, is prioritizing roughly 700 families from around the world whose net worth totals some $4.5 trillion, Bloomberg reported.

7. Don't tighten your belt in these places if a recession hits. When things get bad, we all consider where we can cut costs. But these eight things are actually worth paying for. (Lucky for you a subscription to this newsletter is free.)

8. The people working on AI are really scared about the power of AI. The CEOs of three of the top AI companies signed a statement suggesting AI could pose an "extinction" risk similar to that of a nuclear war. More on why we're all doomed.

9. Keep that heart healthy with some simple food swaps. Cardiologist Dr. Beth Abramson offered some easy switches for your diet to keep your heart in good shape. Check out the five food swaps here and save your arteries.

10. So what am I supposed to do on Sunday nights now that "Succession" is over? Now that the hit HBO show is finished — don't worry, no spoilers — here are 12 shows that can maybe help fill the time. (A personal suggestion: Try "I Think You Should Leave," which just released its third season on Netflix, if you're looking for a laugh.)

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Nathan Rennolds (tweet @ncrennolds) in London. 


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