Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2014

Goldman Sachs: Anchoring Standards After the Financial Crisis

by Rajiv Lal and Lisa Mazzanti

Abstract

Goldman Sachs, a longtime venerable financial institution headquartered in New York City, had a partnership culture that was known to value its clients. But when the financial crisis hit in 2008 and Goldman Sachs emerged relatively unscathed, its public image took a large blow as people questioned the inner workings of the bank. To address the situation, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein called for the creation of the Business Standards Committee (BSC) to carry out a rigorous introspection of the firm. This case explores the reactions of the executives at the bank over the short- and medium-term to public accusations and scrutiny and whether the implemented solutions devised by the BSC are sustainable. It details the themes of individual and collective accountability, reputational awareness, and client care.

Keywords: Standards; banking industry; brand management; public image; financial services industry; Banking Industry; New York (city, NY);

Citation:

Lal, Rajiv, and Lisa Mazzanti. "Goldman Sachs: Anchoring Standards After the Financial Crisis." Harvard Business School Case 514-020, May 2014.