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Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon told CNBC Thursday the investment bank won't help companies go public unless they have at least one diverse board candidate, “with a focus on women,” starting in July.

Why it matters: Government and shareholders are pressing public companies to put more women on boards. Goldman’s announcement will push some private companies to think about diversifying their boards before going public.

Details: Solomon said the policy is good for business, noting that U.S. companies with at least one woman on their board have outperformed those without over the last four years. He added that Goldman could help clients identify women candidates, if needed.

  • Solomon said board candidates are often selected from people who have already served as CEOs or CFOs of companies, a practice he said often leaves women out of contention.

What he's saying: “Starting on July 1 in the U.S. and Europe, we’re not going to take a company public unless there’s at least one diverse board candidate, with a focus on women [...] And we’re going to move towards 2021 requesting two," Solomon said on CNBC's Squawk Box.

  • “Look, we might miss some business, but in the long run, this I think is the best advice for companies that want to drive premium returns for their shareholders over time.”

Of note: Four of the 11 members on Goldman's board are women.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Top general: U.S. losing time to deter China

Stanley McChrystal. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Stanley McChrystal, a top retired general and Biden adviser, tells Axios that "China's military capacity has risen much faster than people appreciate," and the U.S. is running out of time to counterbalance that in Asia and prevent a scenario such as it seizing Taiwan.

Why it matters: McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently briefed the president-elect as part of his cabinet of diplomatic and national security advisers. President-elect Joe Biden is considering which Trump- or Obama-era approaches to keep or discard, and what new strategies to pursue.

Progressives shift focus from Biden's Cabinet to his policy agenda

Joe Biden giving remarks in Wilmington, Del., last month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Some progressives tell Axios they believe the window for influencing President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections has closed, and they’re shifting focus to policy — hoping to shape Biden's agenda even before he’s sworn in.

Why it matters: The left wing of the party often draws attention for its protests, petitions and tweets, but this deliberate move reflects a determination to move beyond some fights they won't win to engage with Biden strategically, and over the long term.

Dave Lawler, author of World
7 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.