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NYC Mayor-elect Eric Adams considers Goldman Sachs executive for key economic role in administration

Mayor of New York City Eric Adams speaks during an interview with Anadolu Agency in Manhattan, New York, United States on November 18, 2021.

Yasin Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams is considering a Goldman Sachs executive for a role in his administration, according to people familiar with the matter.

Adams and his allies have been discussing the idea of giving Stephen Scherr, Goldman’s chief financial officer, a leadership position in the new administration, these people said. These people declined to be named in order to discuss ongoing private conversations.

Stephen Scherr, chief financial officer of Goldman Sachs & Co., gestures while speaking at the Handelsblatt Banking Summit in Frankfurt, Germany, on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019.

Alex Kraus | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Scherr, who is set to retire from New York-based Goldman at the end of the year, is a co-chair of Adams’ transition team. He could be in line to be deputy mayor for housing and economic development, or could end up leading the New York City Economic Development Corp., or NYCEDC, the people said.

Adams has not publicly said who he will end up choosing for those roles. It’s likely he will make the decisions closer to his swearing-in date, Jan. 1. He has been moving ahead with planning for other important positions, such as asking New York Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y. to be a deputy mayor and noting that he’s close to deciding the next police commissioner.

Hiring Scherr would indicate that Adams is seeking to make good on his vow to improve relations between city government and business leaders after a tense eight years under departing Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Let’s hit reset,” Adams previously told CNBC about his message to New York business leaders.

Scherr’s presence in an Adams administration, likewise, would give Goldman and other major companies an ally in a powerful government position.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment. A spokesman for Adams did not deny in a statement to CNBC that Scherr’s name is being floated to Adams or others around him to possibly join the administration. “Mayor-elect Adams appreciates Mr. Scherr’s help with transition so that the new administration is ready on Day 1,” Evan Thies, Adams’ representative, told CNBC late Monday.

The roles for which Scherr is being considered are important to the city’s economy and relationships with employers and workers.

The NYCEDC is a nonprofit that is tasked with helping the city’s economy create jobs while ensuring equity and sustainability. The mayor appoints the group’s president and board.

The deputy mayor for housing and economic development is responsible for crafting and implementing policies that directly impact the city’s economy.

Scherr has been at Goldman since the early 1990s. He serves on the firm’s management committee and has been the chief financial officer since 2018. Data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics shows Scherr has mostly donated to Democrats, including to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign for president.

Goldman Sachs is known to be a source for high-level government employees and elected officials.

Former President George W. Bush tapped Hank Paulson, the former Goldman co-CEO, to be his Treasury secretary. Former President Donald Trump turned to Gary Cohn, another former Goldman executive, to be his first director of the National Economic Council. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, is also a former Goldman executive.

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