REUTERS/Jennifer Ablan/File Photo
- Goldman employees have “sometimes” helped CEO David Solomon manage his DJ schedule in the past, NYT reported.
- The newspaper cited three people who it said had worked with Solomon, who is a hobbyist DJ.
- A Goldman spokesperson denied that any staff managed Solomon’s music activities and said “there are no conflicts of interest” tied to his DJing.
Goldman Sachs employees have at times helped with the management of CEO David Solomon’s schedule as a hobbyist DJ, The New York Times reported, citing three people it says worked with him.
Bank employees have also helped manage his donations, they told the Times. Solomon, who recently had his pay cut to $25 million a year, donates proceeds from his DJ side hustle, the report says.
The Times didn’t specify the amount of help that the report says came from Goldman staff, or the frequency of any help.
“As we told The New York Times, Goldman Sachs employees have not managed David’s music activities and no staff resources are used for the platform,” Goldman spokesperson Tony Fratto told Insider in a statement.
Solomon’s DJing is again in the spotlight at a time when the bank has slashed around 6.5% of its workforce. It’s also recently cut bonuses for some junior bankers by as much as 90%, the New York Post reported.
It also comes after Solomon released a modest hit over the summer with a remix of a Whitney Houston single, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” which has been streamed over 2 million times, the Times said. The publication says that Solomon might have been able to get permission to use the Houston single because of his business connections with Lawrence Mestel, a Goldman client and an executive with ties to the catalogs of major artists, including Houston.
A spokesperson for Goldman told the Times that there is “no economic component” to Solomon’s relationship with Mestel. Mestel told the Times: “Our business is in part to get artists to cover, sample, and or remix our legendary song catalog,”
Four sources who have worked with Solomon told the Times that the CEO’s hobby could pose a conflict of interest.
But a Goldman spokesperson told Insider that “there are no conflicts of interest.”
“The reporting is trying to assert that there is overlap or intermingling of David’s music activities and his role as C.E.O. of Goldman Sachs,” the spokesperson told the Times. “It’s clear that both David and Goldman Sachs have been scrupulous in keeping the relationship separate.”
The same year Solomon became the bank’s CEO in 2018, he also founded Payback Records. The Times reported that at least one former Goldman employee, Brandon Launerts, who worked as a social media manager for the bank, sometimes spoke over the phone to people working for the CEO’s record company, two people with knowledge of the calls told the Times.
Those people said Launerts’ phone calls were to make sure that Solomon’s hobby did not affect his commitments to the bank and involved ideas for promoting music releases and DJ events, the Times said.
The Goldman spokesperson defended the calls to the Times, calling them “normal” and infrequent, and adding they involved scheduling and addressing “any potential risks” for the bank. Launerts did not respond to a request for comment from Insider ahead of publication.
The Times also shared a since-deleted Instagram photo from a DJ who took a selfie last fall with Launerts and two other men, including a former Goldman intern. In the photo, the DJ captioned the photo: “The @paybackrecords crew.”
Solomon has more than a half million monthly listeners on Spotify and has worked alongside musicians like One Republic’s Ryan Tedder.
Insider’s Dakin Campbell previously reported that the CEO used Goldman’s private jets to travel to a DJ event at Lollapalooza. At the time, a Goldman spokesperson said the trip was was considered to be both a business and a personal expense. They added that the bank’s policy requires Solomon to reimburse Goldman for costs associated with personal elements of the trip.
Read The New York Times’ full story on its website.