Goldman Sachs Says Earle to Step Down After 25 Years

(Corrects date of memo in second paragraph.)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) said Glenn Earle, chief operating officer of its European, Middle East and African unit, will retire after almost 25 years with the firm.

Earle, 53, will be replaced by Robin Vince, global head of operations, the bank said in a memorandum to employees last month. A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs in London confirmed the contents of the document today.

Earle’s “judgment regarding reputational and suitability matters was invaluable in meeting the needs of our clients and protecting the firm’s global franchise,” New York-based Goldman Sachs said in the memo.

The bank was last year accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a Senate subcommittee of misleading customers in a 2007 mortgage-linked investment. Goldman Sachs paid $550 million in July 2010 to settle the SEC’s lawsuit, without admitting or denying guilt, and said it made a mistake in the marketing materials.

Earle, who received a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School, joined the firm in 1987 and became a partner in 1996. Between 1996 and 1999 he helped the firm develop its operations in central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He was co-head of the European advisory group within the investment banking unit from 1999 to 2004 before being named chief operating officer for the region in 2006.

In the first half of 2011, Goldman Sachs’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, known as EMEA, contributed $4.63 billion of revenue, 24 percent of the total, down from 28 percent in the same period a year earlier, according to the firm’s quarterly 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The region contributed $1.57 billion toward pretax profit in the first half, 27 percent of the total.

Vince, who will remain global operations head, will be based in London. He became a managing director in 2002 and a partner in 2006. Financial News reported Earle’s retirement earlier today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ambereen Choudhury in London at achoudhury@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Menon at jmenon1@bloomberg.net

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