Goldman Sachs merchant bank promotes 7 to partner

The bulge bracket bank promoted three more for its merchant banking division in the 2016 cycle than it did in the previous cycle two years ago.

Goldman Sachs’s merchant banking division, which focuses on private equity, private credit, real estate and infrastructure investments, has promoted seven to partner as part of its biennial firm-wide partnership announcement.

A spokeswoman for the bank said the seven promotions compare with just four made in the previous cycle in 2014 for the merchant banking division. These included, the bank saw a total of 84 promotions made for the 2016 cycle.

Nicole Agnew, Michael Bruun, Chris Crampton, Charlie Gailliot, Tim Li, Heather Mulahasani and Peter Weidman, who were all most recently managing directors, became partners in the New York-based lender’s merchant banking division, she said.

Goldman’s merchant banking division is a private investing arm of the bank, and makes both direct investments in companies and commitments to PE funds. It has previously made commitments to private equity funds such as Hony Capital Fund VIII, which closed above its $2 billion target on $2.7 billion in April; and Lovell Minnick Equity Partners IV, which closed on $750 million in November 2015, according to PEI data.

Of the seven new partners, four of them – Agnew, Crampton, Gailliot and Weidman – are located in New York.

Agnew will focus on US private equity, the spokeswoman told Private Equity International. According to Agnew’s LinkedIn profile, she joined Goldman in 2005 and focuses on consumer and retail, and some industrials investments. 

Both Crampton and Gailliot focus on private equity. Crampton joined Goldman in 2007 as a vice president, while Gailliot joined in 2003 from Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank.

Weidman, who has previously spoken at sister title PERE’s industry events, focuses on global real estate credit, the spokeswoman said. He joined the bank as an analyst in 1999, before which he was an analyst at real estate private equity firm Averstar Capital Partners.

Bruun and Mulahasani are based in London. Bruun joined Goldman Sachs in 2004, according to his LinkedIn page, and focuses on energy investing, the spokeswoman said. Before joining Goldman, Bruun was an analyst at Copenhagen-based industrials-focused Lundbeck Foundation. Mulahasani joined the firm in 2000 and focuses on European real estate investing.

Li is based in the bank’s Beijing office and focuses on private equity in China. He joined Goldman in 2006 as an associate, and worked as an analyst and associate at Deutsche Bank prior to that.

The spokeswoman declined to disclose the total number of partners within the merchant banking division.

The division’s private equity and debt group has invested about $100 billion since 1986, according to the firm’s website. It began private equity investments that year, and added distressed debt in 1990, mezzanine debt in 1996 and senior secure loans in 2008 to its strategy. Separately, it has also made growth and technology investments since 1982.

According to media reports, the merchant bank was planning to launch its first buyout fund since the financial crisis, as of July. The latest private equity fund is called West Street Capital Partners, named after Goldman’s address in Manhattan’s financial district, and is expected to target between $5 billion and $8 billion.

By comparison, its most recent buyout fund, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners VI, raised $20.34 billion in 2007, according to PEI data.

West Street is so named because the post-crisis regulation under Volcker Rule prohibits banks from including their names in investment funds, and Goldman expects to make a smaller commitment of its own to this fund than it has with previous funds, also due to the Rule.

The spokeswoman told PEI West Street is still in its fundraising process, which began around August or September.