Square: A very useful insight

This is a quote about Square that I received in an email I received from a friend, Taylor Thomas, who also happens to be a Financial Advisor and a Principal at South Shore Capital Advisors (Cohasset, Mass). I thought it was a brilliant and very useful analysis, and it relieved any last worries that I had. Here it is (with his permission):

"…She seemed to be really smart and a great communicator, and certainly a trusted long time associate of the CEO, who is CEO of two companies and really needs senior people that he can rely on. Maybe, however, it is a necessary step in the evolution of the company.

"Square has a really first rate board member leading the search for her successor. David Viniar was CEO of Goldman Sachs from 1999 to 2013 during which time he navigated the financial crisis and led their significant expansion which included pursuing a bank charter and dealing a lot with regulators.

“As Square grows and establishes itself in the payments business, given their status as a non bank financial they may be ready for a CFO who has led that type of an entity - regulated as a bank at least in parts, needing to access different types of capital such as establishing a treasury function and so on. Viniar was great on the Goldman calls during the crisis. He is hugely respected by Wall Street and he undoubtedly has first rate contacts in government that enable the lines of communication to be strong as needed. So I think it will result in finding someone ultra qualified to take on that role.”

(Saul here again) I was really impressed.


  1. I’m really impressed a Financial Advisor came up with that!
  2. This is an extension…and more complete thought of what I was thinking when I said:

“This forces Square to stay on it’s toes and not get complacent. I think there’s danger in CEOs and CFOs staying together too long (reference Zuckerberg and Sandberg). It’s also a chance for Dorsey to continue proving his worth as CEO and help Square continue to evolve with a new CFO.”

in a previous thread.


Sorry, that should have been CFO of Goldman, not CEO, for all those years.


David Viniar was CFO, not CEO, of Goldman Sachs.

Obviously Lloyd Blankfein was the CEO.

Not that that will change anything about his ability to fill the CFO position at Square.

The CFO has to be competent and be good at navigating the financial requirements of the business and set it up financially for whatever it needs to do.
Certainly just like any executive, the CFO has to be good. But a competent executive is not rare. They just have to be careful not to get an incompetent one.

What is more important is the one who has the vision to bring the business into new territories for growth and innovation, and the one who set the people and the business up for success.

I think Square will find a good replacement for their ex-CFO.



I’m really impressed a Financial Advisor came up with that!

Hi Austin, I guess the explanation is that all Financial Advisors aren’t the same and that Taylor is a really thoughtful guy.