75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street

Edith W. Cooper

Partner, Managing Director & Global Head of Human Capital Management
Goldman Sachs
Age: 50

“The fact that Black Enterprise periodically highlights the number of senior professionals on Wall Street is really a sign that we do continue to make progress,” asserts Wall Street veteran Edith Cooper. Though she acknowledges that more still needs to be done, she says, “I think about the 25-plus years that I’ve been in the industry and I think, ‘Gosh, have we really made progress?’ And, quite frankly, I think, ‘Yes, we have.’”

As partner, managing director, and global head of human capital management at Goldman Sachs, Cooper is charged with the responsibility of  recruiting, developing, and retaining Goldman Sachs’ more than 33,000-member workforce. She also counsels those looking to follow in her path. “The term for that now is mentoring, coaching, guiding. I have so benefitted from mentoring over the course of my career, so I’ve always been very involved in mentoring others.”

A member of Goldman’s Management Committee, Cooper is involved in every major strategic and management issue for the $39.2 billion firm. She joined the company in 1996 to build and lead its energy sales group. In 2000, she became co-head of the commodity business in Europe and Asia, based in London, and in 2002 assumed responsibility for the firm’s futures business. “I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to Goldman Sachs through contributing to our clients’ success and to the development of my colleagues, and by giving back to the communities we operate in,” she reflects. “Am I done yet? Absolutely not.

There is so much more opportunity at the firm and in our industry, and so I think there is more to do.”


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