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Goldman Sachs Board Member Scott to Leave After Standards Review

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said board member H. Lee Scott, who helped review the bank’s business practices when the firm was sued by U.S. regulators, will quit after one year because of other commitments.

Scott, 62, a former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. chief executive officer, was elected to the board at the annual shareholder meeting in May. He won’t seek re-election at this year’s meeting, the firm said today in a statement. Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, is seeking a replacement, said a person familiar with the matter.

“Lee made an important contribution to our board and the firm during a challenging period,” Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs’s chairman and CEO, said in the statement. “I am particularly grateful for the enormous time and effort he committed to the board’s efforts related to the business standards committee.”

Goldman Sachs announced at last year’s annual meeting that it would review business standards in the wake of a fraud lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm paid $550 million to settle the suit in July and in January released a report with 39 recommendations for improving its practices.

Scott was nominated to the board on March 19 last year, the same day the firm said Rajat K. Gupta, who had joined the board in 2006, wouldn’t stand for re-election. A month later, the Wall Street Journal reported U.S. prosecutors were investigating whether Gupta had passed confidential information about Goldman Sachs to Galleon Group hedge-fund founder Raj Rajaratnam.

Earlier this month, the SEC sued Gupta. Gary Naftalis, an attorney for Gupta, has called the SEC’s allegations “totally baseless.”

In November, 2009, Scott became an operating partner and investment committee member at Solamere Capital, a Lexington, Massachusetts-based private-equity firm whose managing partners include Tagg Romney, a son of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

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