Goldman Sachs continues mid-market M&A push with senior MD hire

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Despite recently booking the three biggest tech deals of the year, Goldman Sachs is sticking by its plans to build out its middle-market M&A business. The firm just hired a managing director in the U.S. from middle-market specialist Piper Jaffray. 

Goldman has hired Scott Smith, who has spent the past three years concentrating in financial sponsors coverage at Piper Jaffray following nearly a decade working at boutique Lazard, according to sources close to the bank. Smith had earlier worked as an M&A banker at Wachovia Securities before it was purchased by Wells Fargo. The bank declined to comment.

Goldman Sachs made headlines earlier this year when new Chief Executive David Solomon indicated that the bank would no longer only chase the biggest of deals. “We kind of re-examined our footprint globally, and our footprint isn’t as broad as it should be,” he said at an investor conference in February. “There are lots and lots of companies of enterprise value at $500m to $3bn, which have never been addressed or serviced by Goldman Sachs.” There was even rumors of Goldman potentially considering linking up with or acquiring a boutique, though Bloomberg reported that any initial discussions seemed to quickly peter out. Solomon said at the time of the conference that Goldman would expand its coverage organically “by adding bankers.”

The hire comes at an interesting time for Goldman as it just advised on three massive tech deals, including Salesforce’s $15.7b acquisition of Tableau Software – one of just three recent $10b+ deals in the last couple of months. Goldman Sachs currently owns more than 48% of U.S. market share for tech deals this year, according to Dealogic.

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