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The Kids of Business Icons: Jonathan and Alex Blankfein


Why would Lloyd stop at hiring one son when Goldman Sachs could have both?

When angling for a prestigious Wall Street gig at Goldman Sachs (GS), it never hurts to have a Harvard degree, a trophy case of fancy internships, and the last name Blankfein.

As in, son of Lloyd. Or, rather, sons of Lloyd.

During high school, Alex Blankfein nabbed a plum job interning at City Hall for New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg -- along with other spawn of boldface names such as Luke Russert (Tim Russert's son) and playwright Neil Simon's stepson.

The city's Conflicts of Interest Board urges employees to "resist natural parental instincts" and "refrain from forwarding the names or résumés of their children to any city agency." Thankfully, young Alex's last name wasn't Bloomberg, and he happily served the mayor for six weeks in 2003, before enrolling at Harvard.

After graduation, in 2008, Alex Blankfein did what any other son of Lloyd Blankfein would do -- he joined Goldman Sachs, working in "cross-asset sales," a highfalutin word for "broker".

According to a filing from the firm, Alex took home $155,000 for his efforts. Not bad, considering that the national average salary for a recent college graduate at that time was just under $50,000.

Well, with big brother Alex making that kind of coin, why wouldn't Jonathan Blankfein jump on the bandwagon, too?

After graduating Harvard this spring (alma mater of pop and bro), Jon took a job this summer at, you guessed it, Goldman Sachs, where he is gainfully employed as an analyst.

Jonathan already knew the ropes when he began his stint at Goldman -- he was an intern not at City Hall, but at the palace over which his dad lords. Twice.

In the summer of 2008 as well as the summer of 2009, Jonathan Blankfein was brought on to help out between semesters. But he wasn't treated like any old intern. No, he was treated like an intern whose father could call security and have someone removed from the building before he hung up the phone.

As a source told Gawker, "[Jonathan] was given a seat in the center of the energy trading desk, which was in the center of the commodities trading floor. All the other interns were put in a remote corner of the floor."

However, lest we be too hard on the Blankfein clan and their cozy arrangements, keep in mind that others were given equal opportunity to get ahead at Wall Street's most famous (notorious?) investment house.

Like John S. Weinberg, who served as co-head of investment banking at Goldman, and John L. Weinberg, who ran Goldman from 1976 to 1990.

Never heard of them?

Oh, they were only the son and grandson of Sidney Weinberg, who worked his way up from assistant janitor to Goldman's CEO in 1930.

A heartwarming tale of hard work and blazing your own trail, to be sure.

But it's so much easier to simply be related to the guy who busted his tail to make it, right?

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