Goldman Sachs names Mehrotra, Haufrect as Americas M&A co-heads -memo

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Anirban Sen

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Goldman Sachs on Monday named two veteran bankers to head its mergers and acquisitions (M&A) unit in the Americas, weeks after Chief Executive David Solomon unveiled a major shake-up of the Wall Street bank’s top ranks.

Goldman on Monday elevated Avinash Mehrotra and Brian Haufrect as the new co-heads of Americas M&A, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

Both Mehrotra, who currently is the head of global activism and takeover defense, and Haufrect, who is global head of natural resources M&A, will continue to hold their existing roles on top of their new responsibilities.

Russ Hutchinson will rejoin Goldman’s investment banking unit as chief operating officer of its global M&A business, according to the memo sent to employees by Goldman’s global co-heads of Global Banking & Markets, Dan Dees and Jim Esposito.

The contents of the memo were confirmed by a Goldman spokesperson.

The latest moves, first reported by Reuters, come weeks after Solomon unveiled a massive shake-up of the bank’s top ranks that combined investment banking and trading into one unit, while merging asset management and wealth management.

Mehrotra, a Goldman veteran of nearly three decades, has had two stints leading activism defense – a practice all major banks now use to help defend their clients against demands for changes from investors like hedge funds.

Goldman ranked as the top financial adviser to companies targeted by activists in the first six months of 2022, according to Refinitiv data. The bank recently defended on high-profile proxy contests at companies including social media company Twitter Inc and Kohls Corp, which won a proxy contest against Macellum Advisors.

Haufrect, who heads Goldman’s natural resources deals franchise, was made partner at Goldman in 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Goldman has worked on a number of high-profile oil and gas transactions in recent years, including Occidental Petroleum Corp’s $38 billion buyout of Anadarko; ConocoPhillips’ acquisitions of Concho Resources and Shell Plc’s Permian assets; and the merger of Rowan Companies and Ensco plc.

Goldman’s top six dealmakers – global co-heads of M&A, Stephan Feldgoise and Mark Sorrell, and M&A chairmen, Tim Ingrassia, Dusty Philip, Gilberto Pozzi and Gene Sykes – will continue running the franchise, according to the memo.

(Reporting by Svea-Herbst Bayliss and Anirban Sen in New York, additional reporting by David French; Editing by Josie Kao)