At Gupta Trial, a Glimpse at Goldman’s Inner Workings – NYTimes.com

At Gupta Trial, a Glimpse at Goldman’s Inner Workings – NYTimes.com.

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN10 - Gary D. Cohn, Pre...

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 27JAN10 – Gary D. Cohn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Goldman Sachs, USA, captured during the session ‘Rethinking Risk in the Boardroom’ of the Annual Meeting 2010 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2010 at the Congress Centre. Copyright by World Economic Forum. swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mr. Roth testified that in 2008 he worked in Goldman’s executive office in the client relations group. His job was to prepare briefing documents for the top executives at Goldman, with a particular focus on Mr. Cohn, who is now president and chief operating officer. He said that when Mr. Cohn was scheduled to meet with a Goldman client, he would “liase” with the area of the bank most responsible for the relationship and assemble as much information as possible. His practice was to deliver these documents to Mr. Cohn a week before his meetings so he would be prepared for the client meeting.

In the more than a year that Mr. Roth worked in the executive office, he said he had assembled hundreds of briefing documents for Mr. Cohn. “That shows you how exciting my life was,” Mr. Roth joked.

Today, the thorough three-page document prepared by Mr. Roth for the meeting with Mr. Rajaratnam reads like an artifact, a snapshot of Galleon when it was a prestigious hedge fund with $8 billion in assets under management. At the top of the first page is a passport-size photo of Mr. Rajaratnam. A prominent section of the briefing is “EO interactions,” or executive office interactions, which is compiled from an internal database tracked by the client relations group, Mr. Roth said.

“You called Rajaratnam in 2007,” reads one bullet point.

“You saw Rajaratnam at a dinner hosted by Steven Cohen in February 2007,” read another, referring to the hedge fund billionaire who runs SAC Capital.

“You saw Rajaratnam at NYU Child Study Center event in December 2006,” said a third.

Under “talking points/business agenda,” Mr. Cohn was instructed to “deliver the message that we want to expand our PB relationship,” which referred to its prime brokerage business. Under potential questions, Mr. Cohn was advised to ask “what are you thinking regarding future growth at Galleon?” and “how can we be more helpful?”

At its peak in 2007, Galleon did more than $30 million in business with Goldman, which ranked it about the 90th-largest client in the bank’s equities division, according to Mr. Roth’s testimony.

It is unclear why the defense introduced the briefing paper, but presumably its purpose was to underscore for the jury one of Mr. Gupta’s main defenses: Galleon was such an important client to Goldman that there were other executives at the bank who could have fed Mr. Rajaratnam inside tips. “The wrong man is on trial,” Gary P. Naftalis, a lawyer for Mr. Gupta, said earlier in the case.

Regardless of what the jury makes of the document, it provides a peek inside Goldman’s executive suite as well as its approach to client meetings.

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