Goldman Sachs International's vice-chairman and co-chief executive Michael Sherwood is leaving the bank at the end of this year, the company revealed today.
Sherwood – known as Woody – has decided to retire, the group said, after a 30-year career with the company. During his time at Goldman, Sherwood became one of the UK's best paid bankers.
Sherwood's decision to leave the group comes months after he was grilled by MPs over his involvement in the collapse of BHS. After Sir Philip Green said he sold the department store to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell partly because of advice from Goldman Sachs, the joint select committee investigating the demise of the former high street stalwart brought Sherwood in to give evidence.
Sherwood insisted that he was not a "gatekeeper" in the sale negotiations. "I absolutely do not accept blame… We just weren't that involved in this process," he said.
Sherwood maintained yesterday that his decision was not influenced by the BHS saga, saying that Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein wanted him to stay.
"It is one blip in a 30-year career and it really played no part in my decision," Sherwood told the FT.
However, Frank Field, chair of the work and pension select committee which questioned Sherwood as part of the high profile inquiry, said: "I would be amazed if Goldman Sachs was not considering the select committee reports and looking at the actions of those that the select committee called before it, and whether their role is consistent with the image and role they want. I would have thought that a number of the firms are looking at our work with a discrete distance between the report and their decisions and taking action on the people who have let them down."
Nonetheless, Goldman Sachs' bosses Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn paid tribute to Sherwood in an internal memo. "Over the course of his career, Michael has played a vital role in establishing and growing our franchise in Europe and around the world," they said.
"His expertise and knowledge across a range of markets, as well as his passion and commitment to our culture, have influenced a generation of professionals at Goldman Sachs.
"In helping to lead Goldman Sachs International, Michael worked closely with many of our corporate, asset management and investing clients. His understanding of corporate strategy combined with a deep sense of the longer term structural forces shaping markets and economies were the basis for his innovative thinking across industries and products."
They added: "Michael also has been involved in numerous initiatives and processes focused on improving the recruitment, development and growth of our people. He has pushed all of us to think expansively about training, promotion, mentorship and the enhancement of our partnership culture."
Sherwood's role will be taken on by his co-chief exec, Richard Gnodde.
Michael Sherwood's career at Goldman Sachs
Sherwood joined the firm in 1986, then became partner in 1994.
In 2001 he was made head of the fixed income, currency and commodities division in Europe.
Two years later, Sherwood was appointed global co-head of the group's securities division.
In 2008 he was made a vice chairman, and he was then appointed co-chief exec of Goldman Sachs International in 2005.