My guest this week is Stephanie Cohen, who is the chief strategy officer for Goldman Sachs and a member of their management committee. Prior to her current role, she spent the majority of her career in the investment banking and M&A divisions at Goldman.
We discuss lessons learned from her career in M&A and the many initiatives she now leads at the firm. I really enjoyed her perspective on how a big, established firm like Goldman can balance innovation with improving existing businesses. Please enjoy our conversation.
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1:15 – (First Question) – Motives on both sides for doing M&A
3:26 – Most difficult deal she worked on
4:50 – Biggest value add she brought from her seat on the Fiat deal
5:59 – Biggest changes since she started to today
8:31 – Smartest ways for companies who want to be acquired to be prepared
10:14 – Best M&A banker she’s seen
11:13 – What should businesses looking to make an acquisition be thinking about
15:16 – What does a strategy from her perspective mean
17:16 – Tension between innovation and change
19:46 – Difference between bottom-up and top-down components of strategy
22:15 – Exploration vs exploitation
26:28 – Submission process within accelerate
29:37 – Next step after you see a good idea
31:05 – Her take on FinTech and Industrials and their collision
35:15 – Lessons from elite early stage investors
37:21 – The origins of the LAUNCH program
40:06 – Important pieces beyond just the capital
42:42 – How they market to women starting business
44:56 – Lessons that she has learned about narrative and communications
47:07 – How she handles developing talent internally
49:28 – Managing her time
59:28 – Biggest concerns about OKR’s?
52:09 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Stephanie
53:07 – Kids in the area of competing