The document shows Smith as a 'striver', eager to make more money and frustrated when he 'didn’t advance' – and writing his op-ed after being denied $1m in compensation.
Smith didn't know his future at Goldman might have been short-lived anyway. The report says his managers 'discussed the possibility of Greg's departure from the firm'.
Goldman’s investigation paints a different picture of Smith that is at odds with the kind of image he fashioned for himself in his op-ed. Smith told a manager in a December 2011 meeting that he expected to earn $1 million a year, more than double what he was making at the time as an executive director in London. He also complained in the meeting that he wasn’t advancing up the corporate ladder fast enough and expected to win the promotion to managing director he had repeatedly stated as a goal in self-evaluations.
In Goldman’s assessment, Smith had an overgenerous view of his own performance. The documents say that Smith was placed in the bottom half of the firm in regular evaluations from 2007, while giving himself scores that were 'significantly above' those he received from others.
When his request for a promotion to MD was denied in January, Smith asked to be moved to a different sales desk. The investigation report says he wanted to generate revenue and cover clients, a step up from the support role he was providing as a marketer and one with a better shot at a bigger paycheck. Goldman put a different MD in charge of Smith as it considered giving him a sales job. The report says he 'found the transition difficult' and considered the female MD who ran the desk a peer and not his boss.
The investigation found no evidence that Smith's managers missed any warning signs. In the opportunities he did have to raise concerns or criticize individuals, such as performance reviews, he gave his colleagues top marks.