(Bloomberg) -- David Solomon has taken a circuitous route to return Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to the terrain it knows best. Now he’s getting somewhere. 

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boss spent much of last year fending off a chorus of criticism about his leadership and his flailing consumer banking strategy. He made an apologetic retreat, vowing to focus instead on what made Goldman the premier merchant of high finance. 

That paid off Monday, when Goldman beat estimates across investment banking and trading, fueling a 28% jump in profits. After working to dismantle its retail unit, losses there had little impact on the quarter’s earnings. The bank has since been able to spotlight its trading prowess, stealing share from rivals while reasserting itself as a dominant dealmaking house. 

“We say it was a ‘near-perfect print,’” Oppenheimer analysts led by Chris Kotowski wrote. “Just about all the P&L categories did meaningfully better than expected.”

The bank’s shares were up as much as 6% on Monday morning, the biggest jump so far this year, before paring some gains.

Solomon’s goal for a cleaner and simpler Goldman is getting a more receptive audience. That’s thanks in part to the firm’s fixed-income traders, who delivered a $4.32 billion revenue haul that eclipsed analyst expectations. Investment-banking revenue, merger advisory fees, equity and debt underwriting also topped predictions. 

“As Goldman approaches the 25th anniversary of its IPO, this earnings report feels more yesteryear, with all the core business areas performing,” said Jacki Zehner, a former Goldman partner who now runs SheMoney.

Read More: Goldman Traders Notch Windfall Driving Surprise Profit Jump

It’s a far cry from last year’s teeming discontent, as dealmaking slumped and losses from real estate ate into profits. Goldman’s own executives were so frustrated with his leadership that their mutiny was practically public, even prompting Larry Fink of BlackRock Inc., one of the bank’s biggest shareholders, to say it was “obvious that there is a schism within the organization.” 

Days ago, a prominent proxy-advisory firm told shareholders Solomon was overpaid. Solomon even got flustered when analysts pressed him on his vision at last year’s investor day, and his pitch largely fizzled. “I’ll just say, I hate the noise,” Solomon vented then. “I hate the noise.”

--With assistance from Sridhar Natarajan and Keith Gerstein.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.