I spent 14 very happy years at GS. I first met Lloyd in 1981 when Goldman acquired J. Aron. Lloyd was just "one of the guys" back then but everyone instinctively knew that he was going to bat .500.
As a salesperson, you are the chief negotiator between the trading desk and your clients. Sometimes you have just seconds to get a trade done before the market moves - when it all comes together and both sides of the trade are happy, the sense of euphoria is tremendous. And when the trading desk won't budge and your client won't either, being chief negotiator is unbelievably stressful. That is the nature of the business. Your traders wants to sell high and buy low and your clients want to buy low and sell high. Earning the respect of the trading desks and every one of your clients is the ultimate challenge.
I left GS in 1987 when we were still a privately held, and relatively small, firm. I bet the Fixed Income trading floor is still filled with folks who are doing everything in their power to work magic between their clients and their trading desks. No doubt, some days are better than others.
Which is why humility is the ultimate trump card. No one ever truly has the upper hand and if you think you do, trust me, you are destined to lose it.
Being at the helm of the firm today requires a steady hand at the tiller. Lloyd has navigated as brilliantly as anyone could. He is a "steady as she goes" kind of leader. And I continue to like and admire him immensely.
Note to MT: Sorry dude, but GS will never stand for Giant Squid.