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A very simple game with very complex consequences.

Goldman Sachs’ ex-investment banking head recommends golf

Gregg Lemkau, the former co-head of Goldman Sach’s investment banking division, likes golf. And if you play golf, he says it may help your career. 

Lemkau left Goldman Sachs in November 2020 and is now CEO of MSD Partners, the investment firm tasked with diversifying the fortune of (M)ichael (S)aul (D)ell, founder of… Well, Dell. The computer company. MSD isn’t technically a family office however, as it also invests external capital.

Lamkau spoke on the Capital Allocators podcast with Ted Seides earlier this week, and explained the career benefits of his favorite game.

“It’s a great way to spend four hours outside,” Lamkau said of golf, although he admitted that he still isn’t great at it. He added that it “amazes” him how few people understand golf's value in business.

“I don’t care how brilliant I might have been in any meeting, never once did a client say “God, remember that time we flipped through that blue book, and you took me through that DCF? Wasn’t that magical?”” He joked. “But the amount of times I’ve heard “do you remember that time we spent four hours on this golf course or that golf course?”

Lemkau said golf is also good for learning about other people. It shows you their temperament – “because everyone hits a bad golf shot” – it teaches you how they treat other people, and it tells you if someone follows the rules. “Do they cheat, do they treat the caddy well, and do they have a bad temper,” Lamkau said. “You can figure out a lot about a person in four hours on a golf course.”

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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