YOEL Zaoui, co-head of global mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs, has decided to retire from the firm after a 24 year spell during which he has masterminded a host of landmark deals, including the mergers of Arcelor and Mittal and Suez and International Power.
The 51 year old star banker is expected to set up a business of his own, possibly with his brother Michael, who left Morgan Stanley in 2009.
Zaoui, a Moroccan born Frenchman, joined Goldman’s New York M&A team in 1988 and moved to London in 1989. His exit follows the recent departures of other deal makers such as Luca Ferrari, who ran the firm’s M&A business in northern Europe out of London, and industrials banker George Mattson.
Some said that Zaoui’s departure, like those of other senior bankers, would help free up roles for rising talent at the firm. Zaoui’s co-head Gene Sykes is expected to assume the title of sole global head of M&A.
“Yoel is leaving in his prime after a period of spectacular deal-making,” said one insider. “He operated during a boom period for M&A.”
Zaoui will remain a senior director at the firm.