Top Goldman investment bankers threaten to quit over committee snub

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Two of Goldman Sachs’ top investment bankers have threatened to quit after being excluded from a new operating committee established under chief executive David Solomon, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Mark Sorrell, the London-based co-head of mergers and acquisitions and son of advertising executive Sir Martin Sorrell, and Gonzalo Garcia, co-head of European investment banking, have told Goldman they may leave after being excluded from the committee, the people said. 

Their respective co-heads — Stephan Feldgoise in mergers and acquisitions and Anthony Gutman in European investment banking — have been included in the committee, which has about a dozen members. It also includes tech banker Kim Posnett, private equity specialist Pete Lyon and Marshall Smith from the healthcare team. 

If they leave, they would be the latest high-profile departures under Solomon, chief executive since 2018, following a challenging year for the Wall Street firm when it exited a lossmaking push into consumer lending and suffered from a prolonged slowdown in investment banking revenues. 

Goldman and Sorrell declined to comment, while Garcia could not be reached for comment. 

The source of the latest unrest is two new operating committees for investment banking and trading established by Solomon this year. They sit below Goldman’s top-tier management committee. Both Sorrell and Garcia were left out of the investment banking committee, the people said.

The members of the committees were chosen by the co-heads of investment banking and markets, two formerly separate divisions that Solomon merged in late 2022. The combined investment banking and markets division initially had three co-heads — Jim Esposito, Dan Dees and Ashok Varadhan — but Esposito announced his departure from Goldman last month. 

Conceived as a way to promote a new generation of leaders at Goldman and to streamline decision making, the new committees have ruffled feathers internally about who was in or out, the people said. Conspicuously absent from the committee in investment banking was anyone from Goldman’s equity capital markets and real estate businesses. 

Sorrell, whose two younger brothers also worked at Goldman, started at the firm in 1994 and became a partner in 2010. He was promoted to co-head of M&A alongside Feldgoise in 2020. Garcia, from Chile, is a top-tier utilities and natural resources banker who joined Goldman in 1999 and was made a partner in 2008. 

In another notable departure, Beth Hammack, co-head of the financing group and one of the most senior women at Goldman, is also leaving, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Hammack had been selected on the new investment banking committee.  

Goldman reported that investment banking fees were down 16 per cent in 2023 amid an industry-wide slump in dealmaking activity. Overall at the bank, profits fell 24 per cent last year. 

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