Goldman Poaches Two Credit Suisse Bankers to Expand in Business Services

By Liz Hoffman Features Dow Jones Newswires

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is hiring a pair of Credit Suisse Group AG bankers, including one at the elite rank of partner, to win business from corporate service providers such as consulting, staffing and security firms.

Continue Reading Below

Jeff Douthit, who runs Credit Suisse's business-services coverage group, will join Goldman as a partner in the same role, according to people familiar with the matter. His deputy, Ali Azim, will join as a managing director.

Both will be based in Chicago reporting to Dusty Philip, Goldman's top industrials banker.

Credit Suisse officials weren't immediately available to comment.

Business services is a grab bag that includes everything from outsourced janitor services to document management. Goldman's group also covers consumer-facing companies like ServiceMaster, which provides local lawn care and exterminator services to homeowners.

These companies tend to be owned by private-equity firms, which can borrow against the cash flow the businesses produce and bring them into new markets.

Continue Reading Below

Such private-equity-backed businesses are highly sought clients, as they throw off fees when they go private, finance their growth, and go public or sell again. Goldman has also been trying to win more work in raising debt, the lifeblood of such companies.

Last year, the firm hired Sarah-Marie Martin, a Credit Suisse private-equity banker, as a partner in its sponsors group.

The latest hires will also bring two senior bankers to Goldman's Chicago office, one of several regional hubs it has been beefing up to ease its reliance on bankers parachuted in from New York. Mr. Douthit ran Credit Suisse's Chicago office.

Last year, he advised T.H. Lee on its takeover of staffing firm System One and ABRY Partners on the sale of phone-call translator LanguageLine.

Goldman rarely hires someone from outside the firm at the rank of partner. But executives and recruiters say the firm is looking to hire in senior positions -- even to dangle a coveted slot in its partnership -- as it fills out weak spots within the investment-banking division.

Such talent grabs are an acknowledgment that Goldman's overall strength -- it is first in mergers and acquisitions and top three in stock sales -- obscures some subsectors where it trails rivals.

Write to Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 20, 2017 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT)