Dorothee Blessing, who rose to become co-head of investment banking for Germany and Austria at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US) in a career spanning two decades, is leaving the U.S. investment bank and securities firm.
Blessing, 45, has decided to retire from Goldman Sachs after “20 years of distinguished service,” according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News today. Her departure was first reported by German publication Manager Magazin, which said she’s leaving for personal reasons.
The investment banker, who is married to Commerzbank AG (CBK) Chief Executive Officer Martin Blessing, was named managing director in 2001 and partner in 2005. She joined Goldman Sachs in 1992 as a Frankfurt-based financial analyst in the corporate finance department. Blessing left the investment bank briefly in 2004 to take up a post at Deutsche Bank AG in Frankfurt before returning to the company.
Blessing, a mother of three, comes from a banking dynasty, following in the footsteps of her father Paul Wieandt, the former chairman of savings bank Frankfurter Sparkasse. Her brother Axel Wieandt has worked at Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse AG and was CEO of Hypo Real Estate Holding AG from 2008 to 2010.
She’s a rarity in German banking, which has a dearth of female representation in company boardrooms. Blessing is the only female partner at Goldman Sachs in Germany. About 10 percent of the bank’s 400 partners worldwide are women.
German firms have resisted proposed quotas by the European Union to address gender imbalances in corporate leadership.
Women hold 7.2 percent of seats on German executive boards and 13.8 percent on supervisory boards, according to an October study by the European Commission. That compares with an EU-wide average of 15.8 percent and 16.8 percent, respectively.
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