Goldman Sachs has been practicing some M&A on itself. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that the firm is merging two of its investment banking groups in the U.S.: henceforth the healthcare M&A team and the retail M&A team will be the same thing. The new group will have three leaders (two from retail, one from heathcare) and will allow the bankers involved to, “be deployed more widely across a broader client base.” It helps that retail and healthcare are apparently converging, or maybe it’s simply that there are a lot of big pharmaceutical deals out there and Goldman needs a huge pool of people to work on them.
Either way, headhunters say working in this kind of mega-team can be a bit of a headache for the bankers involved. Yes, you get good ‘deal exposure’, but you can also end up being shunted from one deal to another – or so they claim. “These combined teams are a way of squeezing more out of people,” says one headhunter. “You end up having far less downtime – if you’re only covering one sector, you usually have a break between deals, but if you’re in a big multi-sector deal, you just go from one deal to another.”
Goldman didn’t comment on the notion that members of combined teams work harder. This may not be the last M&A team to merge. Global M&A deals are at their highest levels for seven years and banks are stretched by new restrictions on working hours for juniors. Goldman already merged all its sector and region-specific junior M&A bankers in Europe into two ‘Nothern Europe’ and ‘Southern Europe’ teams in 2012. Credit Suisse has been pooling M&A bankers too. Expect more of this in future.