Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partners Alison Mass and David Dase weren’t buying. The bankers stared skeptically at a glass of brownish liquid as a young man described a new technology for purifying even the filthiest water. The sample was safe to drink, he said, taking a sip.
More than 1,000 investment-banking colleagues, watching a video of the encounter at a daylong strategy session at the New York Hilton Midtown in March, erupted in laughter. The man with the purification pitch was an actor. Mass and Dase, who weren’t in on the joke, were doing their best to salvage a meeting that Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn had asked each of them to take, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its June 2014 issue.