Matthew Executive Director/Vice President, Financial Institutions Group Merchant Banking/Private Equity Division, New York

Undergrad:  Princeton University; Majored in Economics and Finance
Enjoys:  Spending time with family; playing tennis
Joined GS:  2009

I had heard going in that Goldman is all about teamwork—it is very much true from my perspective.

I was born in New Jersey, where I spent most of my school years, including through college. I went to Princeton where I studied Economics and Finance, specifically researching dislocations in financial markets.

For two summers during college and following graduation, I worked as a derivatives trader with a structured credit investment firm. While I found this market interesting, I increasingly sought to analyze companies on a more fundamental basis. A friend told me about opportunities in investment banking at Goldman, particularly in the firm’s Financial Institutions Group (FIG), where the firm was working on significant mandates given the restructuring and de-leveraging within the financial services sector. I joined Goldman Sachs in 2009 as an analyst in FIG.

When I joined Goldman, I found there was a very good support network, which helped me get up to speed quickly. While it was a very demanding and challenging environment from an intellectual perspective and otherwise, I found that people were there to mentor you and take the time to teach you. I had heard going in that Goldman is all about teamwork—it is very much true from my perspective.

During my years in banking, I was lucky to have worked on two complex transactions, both of which lasted for more than a year and a half. One was a restructuring and a subsequent IPO; the other was a dual-track M&A sale process and IPO. Both transactions required intellectual capital gathered from across the various areas of the firm and a significant amount of coordination cross-divisionally. From that perspective, it was great to see how the firm can act in a highly coordinated way to deliver the best solution for its clients.

Today I work in the Merchant Banking Division (MBD), which is the firm's primary center for long-term principal investing activity. We invest the firm’s capital and client capital across a range of asset classes, including corporate private equity and credit, real estate, and infrastructure assets. I focus more specifically on financial services and energy investing within the Principal Investment Area (PIA), which is the corporate investing practice within MBD.

I was attracted to MBD given the opportunity to partner with world-class management teams to pursue investment theses in a particular sector, and improve the operations of their businesses, to create value. MBD also has a very unique and flexible investment platform that appealed to me, with the ability to invest across the capital structure and across industry sectors.

My day-to-day activity basically falls into three components: sourcing new investment ideas and opportunities, executing transactions, and portfolio monitoring and management of existing investments. Sourcing is a combination of primary research and meeting industry participants to identify interesting investment opportunities, and it's great being part of that process given the level of exposure and interaction you receive.

The second area is deal execution, which is a multi-faceted aspect of the job and involves developing an investment thesis on an opportunity, conducting due diligence, managing deal financing, and negotiating deal documents. It's a dynamic set of experiences, and MBD does a great job of allowing you to assume significant amounts of responsibility, but with appropriate levels of oversight.

Finally, the third component is portfolio management. One of the goals of MBD is working with management teams to help identify areas of growth, develop strategic plans to pursue these areas, and then advise on execution of the plans.

Goldman Sachs supports a fantastic balance between challenging you and encouraging you to take on additional roles and responsibilities, while also providing the support infrastructure you need to maximize your development. Colleagues are cognizant of who you are as an individual, your work style, and your own development more broadly. The culture of teamwork really does resonate throughout one’s experience here.