LONDON (Reuters) – A one-time Goldman Sachs banker has written an open letter to David Solomon calling on the Wall Street investment bank’s chief executive to exit Russia and re-locate staff from Moscow to stay “on the right side of history”.
Georgy Egorov, a former equity capital markets director who left Goldman Sachs for Swiss rival UBS in 2010, also criticised a message posted earlier this week by Solomon on social media for not condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“I was so proud, as a Goldman banker in Russia, to have worked on some of the largest transactions globally at the time – the largest bridge loan (Gazprom), the largest syndicated loan (Rosneft), one of the largest IPOs (VTB),” Egorov’s letter said.
Goldman Sachs on Thursday declined to comment on the letter, but a spokesman confirmed Egorov had worked at the bank.
Russian-born Egorov, who told Reuters he had lived in Britain for the past 23 years, said that Goldman should stop all operations in Russia “as a sign of protest” and join in sanctions against what he called a “criminal regime”.
Russia says it actions in Ukraine are a “special operation”.
In a message posted on Twitter on Tuesday, Solomon called the invasion of Ukraine “tragic”, adding that the bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people were an inspiration.
“Goldman Sachs will continue to take care of our colleagues, support our non-profit partners’ humanitarian efforts, and add our voices to all those calling for peace,” Solomon added.
Egorov’s post on the professional networking site, which included a call for Goldman Sachs to relocate staff to London, Frankfurt or Warsaw, has notched up more than 1,200 likes.
Societe Generale warned on Thursday of the possibility that Russia could strip the French bank of its local operations, in one of the starkest warnings yet from a Western company about the potential impact of the war in Ukraine.
The bank, whose $20 billion exposure to Russia is one of the largest among foreign lenders, said it was working to cut risks in the country, as European banks review business there amid escalating tit-for-tat sanctions with the West.
Companies such as Apple, Google, Ford and Netflix are among those to have already cut or pause business in Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, joining a growing list from shippers and carmakers to energy companies.
(Reporting by Kirstin Ridley and Sinead Cruise; Editing by Alexander Smith)