The race to succeed Lloyd Blankfein as CEO of Goldman Sachs looks to have become a formality after one of the two frontrunners announced his impending retirement.
The banking giant announced today that its co-president and co-chief operating officer Harvey Schwartz had decided to retire effective on 20 April.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Blankfein is set to step down as CEO by 2019 and tipped Schwartz and fellow co-president and co-chief operating officer David Solomon as the favourites to succeed him.
With Schwartz's exit the way looks clear for Solomon to take the top job.
Blankfein said: “Harvey has been a mentor to many, and his influence has made an indelible impact on generations of professionals at Goldman Sachs. I want to thank Harvey for all he’s done for the firm.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with David in building our franchise around the world, serving our expanding client base and delivering strong returns for our shareholders.”
Blankfein has been vocal in his opposition to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and has publicly spoken about the bank’s contingency plans to move staff to other European financial centres.
In January he said that Goldman’s preparations for Brexit will soon reach a point where things are “not going to be undone”.
Last week it emerged that the bank has warned more than a dozen staff in London that they should be prepared to move to Frankfurt within weeks.
Blankfein has previously called for a second referendum on the UK’s decision to leave the EU. In a November tweet he said: “So much at stake, why not make sure consensus still there?”