Goldman Sachs chairman Peter Sutherland retires

Former EU commissioner is leaving GSI to devote more time to migration issues

Former EU commissioner Peter Sutherland is retiring as chairman of Goldman Sachs to devote more time to dealing with the challenge of migration.

Mr Sutherland, who is the special representative of the UN secretary general for migration and development, addressed the security council about the scale of the migration problem last week.

Mr Sutherland told The Irish Times that the reason he is stepping down from his non-executive post at Goldman Sachs is to devote himself to the migration issue.

“I came to the conclusion that I could not continue as chairman of Goldman Sachs and give the migration question the attention and time it deserves,” he said.


Mr Sutherland’s decision to retire from Goldman Sachs was announced yesterday in an internal memo.

He joined Goldman Sachs as an international adviser in 1990 and was appointed chairman of Goldman Sachs International (GSI) in 1995.

The memo said Mr Sutherland had led the evolution of GSI into an important contributor to the firm’s global growth.

“His strong leadership, deep understanding of our business and culture, and independent and wise judgment have benefitted the firm enormously. Upon his retirement as chairman of GSI, Peter will continue to provide strategic advice to the firm on global business development opportunities as an international adviser,” said the memo.

His previous roles included stints as Irish attorney general, European commissioner, director general of the World Trade Organisation and chairman of BP.

He also served as chairman of the London School of Economics from 2008 to January 2015 and was awarded an honorary knighthood in 2004. He was also awarded a papal knighthood.

Mr Sutherland will be present at an event in Dublin Castle on Monday when the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon will deliver a speech on the future of the UN.

On Sunday Mr Ban will accept the Tipperary international peace award at an event in Ballykisteen, Co Tipperary, for his leadership in mobilising the international community to address a series of grave conflicts and natural disasters.

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a columnist with and former political editor of The Irish Times