President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Gary Cohn, who was COO and president of Goldman Sachs, to lead the National Economic Council, according to an announcement from the transition team.
Cohn was the No. 2 executive at the Wall Street firm, with only CEO Lloyd Blankfein senior to him.
The move had been rumored for days, with Cohn meeting several times with Trump over the past two weeks.
“Gary and I have been partners for more than 25 years, so I know better than perhaps anyone that he has the intelligence, commitment, and experience to be successful at any endeavor he undertakes,” Blankfein said in a statement.
“We will miss Gary at Goldman Sachs, but I believe the American people and the president-elect are fortunate that he has chosen to serve his country. I am confident that Gary will bring his many talents and expertise to the White House and will do his part to make our economy stronger for all Americans.”
The National Economic Council advises the president on US and global economic policy.
‘He fully understands the economy’
Cohn is the third Goldman Sachs alum to join Trump’s administration. The president-elect has appointed former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary and Steve Bannon as his chief strategist.
“Being chosen to serve in the president-elect’s administration is a great honor,” Cohn said in a statement. “I share President-elect Trump’s vision of making sure every American worker has a secure place in a thriving economy, and we will be completely committed to building a nation of strength, growth and prosperity.”
Cohn will need to sell his shares in Goldman Sachs to avoid a conflict of interest. As of November 14, he held 872,712 shares worth about $207 million, according to Bloomberg. He will be allowed to defer=”defer”paying any capital-gains taxes from the sale.
Fortune’s Stephen Gandel reported on Monday that Cohn’s holding had gained $52 million in value since the election on November 8.
“As my top economic adviser, Gary Cohn is going to put his talents as a highly successful businessman to work for the American people,” Trump said in a statement.
“He will help craft economic policies that will grow wages for our workers, stop the exodus of jobs overseas and create many great new opportunities for Americans who have been struggling. He fully understands the economy and will use all of his vast knowledge and experience to make sure the American people start winning again.”
Trump was highly critical of Wall Street throughout his campaign. He condemned Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her ties to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms – and for earning hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches given to the global investment bank and its clients.