Home Private Equity Goldman Sachs hires JPMorgan’s co-head of European M&A Woehrn in sponsors push

Goldman Sachs hires JPMorgan’s co-head of European M&A Woehrn in sponsors push

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Goldman Sachs has hired JPMorgan’s co-head of M&A in Europe as the Wall Street bank makes a fresh push in its coverage of private equity companies.

Goldman has taken on Carsten Woehrn, who also co-leads JPMorgan’s strategic investor group M&A team globally, according to people familiar with the matter. He will join as a partner within Goldman’s London M&A team.

This means that Goldman has now hired JPMorgan’s two top M&A investment bankers covering financial sponsor clients in the space of a week, having already poached Haidee Lee in the US earlier in April.

Woehrn was named co-head of Emea M&A in October, taking over from Guillermo Baygual to lead the unit alongside Dwayne Lysaght. Lee and Woehrn were also handed new roles co-leading JPMorgan’s strategic investor group M&A unit in the same month.

Woehrn has worked at JPMorgan for his entire career, joining as an analyst in 2000 focused on diversified industries. Lee joined JPMorgan from Goldman in 2021.

The move signals a major push by Goldman Sachs in its coverage of private equity companies, which have largely remained on the sidelines during a two-year slump in M&A deals that has forced investment banks to cut thousands of jobs.

Bank executives have shown cautious optimism that M&A dealmaking is returning after a surge in mega-deals in the first quarter of 2024, as volumes climbed 30% globally to $755bn, according to data provider Dealogic.

However, private equity firms typically account for 30-40% of total deals as they buy and sell companies, and a real recovery hinges on the buy-side returning in a meaningful way.

JPMorgan declined to comment.

Goldman Sachs posted a 28% jump in profit for the first quarter of 2024 as its core Wall Street functions bounced back. In investment banking, its $2bn in revenue was up 32% compared with a year earlier. It remains the top bank for M&A, with fees of $871.2m so far this year, according to Dealogic, 39% of which came from sponsor clients.

JPMorgan has been reorganising the senior ranks of its investment bank, following the departure of its global head Vis Raghavan to Citigroup in January. He left to become head of banking at Citi, a role that will see him oversee three business lines and be chief executive Jane Fraser’s second in command.

Filippo Gori and Doug Pento were named as Raghavan’s successors in expanded co-heads of banking positions at JPMorgan.

Earlier in April, JPMorgan unveiled another senior reshuffle in its investment bank, handing bigger roles to European dealmaking head Dorothee Blessing, promoting her to global head of investment banking coverage alongside US-based Jay Horine. Anu Aiyengar, its global head of M&A, was also promoted to global head of advisory.

The changes also meant that Achintya Mangla, who led its equity capital markets team globally, is departing JPMorgan. Kevin Foley, who previously headed debt capital markets, was named global head of capital markets, a new unit that combines DCM and ECM.

JPMorgan’s investment bank posted a 21% increase in fees during the first quarter of 2024. However, revenue from M&A remained down by 21% during the period as fees from equity and debt underwriting both rose by more than 50%.

Goldman has seen a number of senior departures in Europe this year including Jim Esposito, who co-headed its global banking and markets division. Gonzalo Garcia, co-head of its Emea investment banking unit, and Ben Thorpe, who led its Emea healthcare dealmaking team, also left.

Write to Paul Clarke at paul.clarke@dowjones.com

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