December 6, 2023

Investment Banking

Let Your Investment Banking Do The Walking

Goldman Sachs co-head of investment banking Zac Fletcher promoted to partner

In September, Goldman also reintroduced its annual performance review process, which involves bankers having to assess their own colleagues’ performance and value to their respective teams.

Bankers have described this as an intimidating review that could sometimes involve having to throw your peers under the bus, but it has proved necessary to weed out under-performing bankers from Goldman’s ranks.

Goldman had placed this review on hold since the onset of the pandemic, and avoided reintroducing the review procedure last year as dealmaking volumes surged to record levels.

Fletcher’s promotion shows Australia matters

For Fletcher, being named a partner is a strong endorsement from Goldman’s Wall Street headquarters.

Achieving partnership status signals that the banker runs a meaningful business or has made Goldman a lot of money.

Like the bank’s performance review, candidates for partnership are vetted through a process known as “cross-ruffing”, according to a person familiar with the process in New York. Cross-ruffing involves current partners talking to other staff about whether candidates deserve a partnership. The candidates, however, are not interviewed.

And in Fletcher’s case, it has been a long time coming. The investment banking co-head has been tipped for a promotion for the past few years.

Goldman ranked number one in Australian M&A for the first nine months of the year, backing up its first place finish in M&A last year, according to Dealogic.

The bank is advising Perpetual on its potential acquisition by a consortium including private equity firm EQT, and Goldman was also tapped to advise software company InfoTrack about a third-party investment, Street Talk reported earlier this month.

Fletcher’s elevation makes him the fourth Australian-based banker to be made a partner after Simon Rothery, Christian Johnston and Nick Sims, his fellow co-head of investment banking.

Three other Australians were also promoted to partner overnight Thursday, but each works offshore. Ed Wittig, who runs M&A for industrial companies out of New York, Aiden Hallett (New York) and Rob Taylor (securities, Hong Kong) were the others.

Most diverse class ever

This year’s class – who officially become partners on January 1, 2023 – is Goldman’s most diverse ever.

Twenty-nine per cent are women, up from 27 per cent in 2020; 24 per cent are Asian, up from 17 per cent in 2020; and 9 per cent are black, up from 7 per cent in 2020.

Goldman promotes people to partner every two years.