Inside the quiet rise of Julian Salisbury, a soft-spoken Goldman Sachs exec some consider a contender for the CEO job
Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to
On the agenda today:
- How Julian Salisbury went from
Goldman Sachs' middle office to an unlikely contender for CEO.
- It's too late to prevent climate chaos. Now, it's "adapt or die."
- The messaging app Telegram is at the forefront of the brutal war in Ukraine.
- Ray Dalio told us why US economic dominance is facing its greatest competition yet.
Let me know what you think of all our stories at email@example.com.
An Englishman fond of tailored suits and silk ties, Julian Salisbury has risen through the ranks at Goldman Sachs to become a cohead of asset management — tasked with attracting billions of dollars in outside capital to a freshly streamlined division that rivals Blackstone.
But his reign atop the division has already been beset by delayed decision-making and personnel departures, people with knowledge of the situation told Insider. And no asset-management leader, let alone a Brit, has ever captained the iconic Wall Street bank.
Yet Salisbury has emerged as a contender for the coveted CEO position.
As one former executive told us: "He just seems to win."
Dakin Campbell, Danielle Walker, and Reed Alexander take us behind the scenes of their reporting.
Why would Salisbury be such an unlikely pick for a CEO?
Dakin Campbell: Julian Salisbury doesn't fit the mold of a tough-talking, chest-thumping Wall Street CEO. He's often soft-spoken, understated in meetings, and seen by many people as one of Goldman's more considerate partners.
He often keeps his emotions to himself, a trait some inside Goldman see as a flaw. His tendency to discretion leads many people to underestimate his abilities.
But perhaps the biggest reason that Salisbury would be an unlikely pick is that history is not on his side. In the decades since Goldman Sachs has had an asset-management business, its leader has never ascended all the way to CEO, neither has a native of the UK, Salisbury's home country.
Is there anything you learned during your reporting that surprised you?
Danielle Walker: I was surprised to learn that Julian was integral in Goldman backing Oleg Tinkov's internet bank, Tinkoff Credit Services/Tinkoff Bank, in 2007. This was years before Tinkov went on to make billions and the company had its successful IPO in 2013.
Tinkov wrote about Julian in his 2010 memoir, shedding light on how this investment may have even allowed his company to survive the financial crisis. Since Julian was in Moscow during these deals, and not in a position at Goldman as senior as his current one, it appeared to be a detail that had become buried over the years but was pretty illuminating.
What can readers expect to see from Salisbury in the next five, 10 years?
Reed Alexander: Whatever Salisbury decides to tackle, he's going to bring his signature investing savvy and cool-under-pressure demeanor to the job.
It's unlikely that within five to 10 years he'll become CEO. After current chief exec, David Solomon, steps down, his likely successor will be Goldman President John Waldron. So aside from sticking around and waiting his turn, that leaves another possibility: finding a new job. His predecessors have left to run hedge funds and investment firms, so there's precedent.
No matter where Salisbury goes, I think it's fair to say his reputation for success will follow. As one former managing director who worked for him told us: "He just seems to win."
Founded by the staunch libertarian activist Pavel Durov, the messaging app Telegram has become a digital battleground where both sides of the conflict can distribute information and propaganda to users around the world.
But as Russian disinformation proliferates on the platform, Durov has found himself caught between his two strongest ideals: on one hand, his dream of an open and unmoderated internet, and on the other, his deep animosity toward the Russian state and its objectives.
Check out more of our coverage:
- Xi Jinping isn't siding with Putin over Ukraine, as many in Washington fear. He's trying to steer clear of the crisis.
- Inside one global executive's 5-day escape from Kyiv, as companies scramble to evacuate staff from Ukraine and cut ties with Russia
The most recent United Nations report on the climate crisis serves as a 3,700-page wake-up call to the severity of the emergency — and is yet another reminder that this decade will be a make-or-break period of adapting to unprecedented climate changes.
There are plenty of things the US — and the world — can do to soften the blow, including building a better power grid, changing the layouts of cities to make climate disasters less deadly, and preparing for the next pandemic.
For our "Block Street" series, our reporter Laila Maidan sat down with the billionaire investor and hedge-fund manager Ray Dalio, who shared three things he'd never seen before: the amount of debt creation and money printing with interest rates at zero, the amount of internal conflict over politics, wealth, and values, and the changing world order in which rising powers such as China are competing with the US.
Dalio also shared some advice for individual investors, including his three criteria when deciding which countries or companies to invest in.
More of this week's top reads:
- A Big Tech software engineer shares his journey to making $183,000 per year.
- Moon Juice presents itself as a do-good company — but ex-employees say they've seen a different side.
- Goldman Sachs is turning up the heat on the Peloton founder John Foley.
- Better reportedly laid off 3,000 employees this week, but many didn't even hear their fate straight from the company.
- Buyk, the ultrafast-delivery startup founded by Russian entrepreneurs, is in a cash crunch.
- These are the 18 hottest jobs in the booming cannabis industry.
- The trial over the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has begun — and we already know the scariest part.
- A Harvard research project gave birth to a gene-editing technology that could reshape a multibillion-dollar market.
Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.
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