August 10, 2018 / 7:58 PM / 9 days ago

UPDATE 1-MOVES-Goldman Sachs hires top JP Morgan dealmaker Simon

(Adds comment from JP Morgan)

By Liana B. Baker

NEW YORK, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc said in an internal memo on Friday it had hired a top JPMorgan Chase & Co dealmaker, Kurt Simon, as a partner and vice chairman of its investment banking division.

A Goldman Sachs representative confirmed the contents of the memo. A JP Morgan representative confirmed the departure.

A move to a rival firm for a banker as senior as Simon, who was JP Morgan's global chairman of mergers and acquisitions, is rare and underscores Goldman Sachs' drive to be No. 1 in the global M&A league tables.

It is currently second in the rankings that measure market share in M&A advisory business, behind Morgan Stanley, and has worked on $846.7 billion of global deals so far this year, according to Thomson Reuters data. It holds the No. 1 ranking in deals that have U.S. involvement, the data shows.

JP Morgan, which ranks third in both global and U.S. M&A according to the Thomson Reuters data, said last month its M&A fees reached a record $1.2 billion in the first half of the year.

"Kurt brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and valuable insights to our business and his appointment underscores our continued commitment to further strengthening and developing our global team," Goldman Sachs' senior leaders in its banking division - Gregg Lemkau, John Waldron and Marc Nachmann - said in the memo.

Simon will also become a co-chairman in the global technology, media and telecom group based in New York. At JP Morgan, he advised its largest clients such as Walt Disney Co , Dell Technologies Inc and Softbank Group . Simon was also based in San Francisco from 2010 until 2015.

A J.P. Morgan spokesman said the bank did not plan on finding a replacement for Simon as global M&A chairman, "given the depth of talent in the bank’s M&A and Technology, Media and Telecom teams."

He also noted that "many of the M&A transactions have been spearheaded by Jamie Dimon, the bank’s CEO."

Transformative tie-ups of telecommunications and media companies, including megadeals such as the sale of most of the assets from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc to Disney, and the combination of Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc, have been boosting worldwide merger and acquisition activity to new highs.

In the first half of the year, announced deals in global media M&A totaled $322.5 billion, more than six times as high as the same period a year ago. (Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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