When Goldman Sachs announced earlier this year that former Walmart CEO Lee Scott was leaving the Goldman board after just a year of service "as a result of increasing time requirements associated with his other commitments," Goldman didn't say what those "other commitments" were.
Dennis Berman sheds some light on the matter in today's Wall Street Journal with a profile of a former Goldman vice chairman, Byron Trott, who has struck out on his own to form BDT Capital, which the Journal says has 38 employees and a $2 billion investment fund with a long-term investment horizon and a focus on family-controlled businesses. The Journal article describes Mr. Scott as "the head" of the BDT Capital "senior advisory council." The Journal doesn't mention Mr. Scott's Goldman connection, but for those who follow this sort of thing, it's kind of an "oh, that explains it," moment.
It's not clear whether Goldman said to Mr. Scott, "You're either with Trott or with us," or whether Mr. Scott said to Goldman, "I'm with Trott and not with you." Maybe it was a little of both. But it's an illuminating little story about today's economy, in which individuals and new entrants can rise quickly to challenge long-established institutions.