Goldman Names Friedland Head of Financial, Strategic Investor M&A

By Jaewon Kang Features Dow Jones Newswires

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has named David Friedland as global head of a group that provides deal advisory services to private-equity firms, pension funds, family offices and other investors.

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Mr. Friedland will succeed Stephanie Cohen as global head of financial and strategic investor mergers and acquisitions, according to a firmwide memo. Ms. Cohen was named chief officer of strategy in November after heading financial and strategic investor M&A for more than two years.

The appointment comes nearly two years after Goldman Sachs extended the reach of its investment banking group beyond traditional private-equity clients to a growing community of acquirers among family offices, sovereign-wealth funds, pension funds and special purpose acquisition companies. Today, private-equity firms and these less traditional investors are involved in about one-third of M&A transactions handled by the bank, according to a person familiar with Goldman.

The firm is making leadership changes as a strong economy, an abundance of cheap debt and robust appetite for growth among corporate and financial buyers continue to support healthy deal activity. Private-equity firms alone have an estimated $991.3 billion in capital available to invest as of December 2017, according to data provider Preqin Ltd. At the same time, family offices, pensions, sovereign-wealth funds and other less traditional investors have become more active in the M&A market.

Mr. Friedland currently leads M&A efforts for the bank's real-estate and consumer retail teams and will continue to head the real-estate team in his new role. He will report to co-heads of global M&A Michael Carr and Gilberto Pozzi, and Alison Mass, global head of financial and strategic investors group.

He joined Goldman in 1997 and became a prominent deal maker, leading transactions across various regions and sectors, particularly consumer and retail. At Goldman, Mr. Friedland was involved in a number of high-profile deals, including the sale of private-equity backed companies Petco Animal Supplies Inc. and Waterford Wedgwood PLC, as well as Yum China Holdings Inc.'s sale of a minority stake to Primavera Capital Group and Ant Financial Services Group.

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David Kamo will head regional efforts for the group in the Americas, while Antonio Gatti will lead its efforts in Europe, Middle East and Africa, according to the memo. Mr. Kamo joined Goldman from Credit Suisse Group AG in 2016. Mr. Gatti started at Goldman in 2000 and was named managing director in 2011.

Write to Jaewon Kang at jaewon.kang@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 08, 2018 09:36 ET (14:36 GMT)