Goldman Sachs To Only Serve As IPO Underwriter For Companies With 'Diverse' Boards

Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) will not serve as an underwriter for any company's initial public offering that doesn't have at least one "diverse" member on its board.

Benzinga · 01/24/2020 09:22

Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) will not serve as an underwriter for any company's initial public offering that doesn't have at least one "diverse" member on its board.

What Happened

"Starting on July [1] in the [United States] and Europe, we're not going to take a company public unless there's at least one diverse board candidate, with a focus on women," the bank CEO, David M. Solomon, told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday.

The bank will begin requesting two diverse board members from 2021 onward, the CEO added.

According to Solomon, the IPOs of companies with at least one female board members have performed "significantly better" than those without, CNBC reported.

Goldman might miss some business in the short, Solomon told CNBC, but he thinks it is "the best advice for companies that want to drive premium returns for their shareholders over time."

The New York-based bank can even help find the diverse board candidates for these companies, Solomon said.

Goldman has become the first bank to put such a requirement for companies. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) told Bloomberg that while it doesn't have such a policy, it has had a "director advisory service" since 2016 that helps companies find diverse candidates for their boards.
The investment management arm of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT) in 2017 installed the "Fearless Girl" statue facing the "Charging Bull" to promote leadership roles for women at the Wall Street.

Price Action

Goldman's shares closed 0.6% lower at $245.58 on Thursday.