Goldman Sachs to Acquire Ayco

NEW YORK, NY and ALBANY, NY – The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (Goldman Sachs; NYSE: GS) announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire The Ayco Company, L.P. (Ayco), a leading provider of sophisticated, fee-based financial counseling in the United States. Under the agreement, Ayco will become a wholly owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The transaction, which is expected to close in the summer, is subject to regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Combining our investment management expertise with Ayco's financial planning capabilities benefits all of our clients, and enhances our Private Wealth Management platform," said Peter Kraus and Philip Murphy, co-heads of Investment Management at Goldman Sachs. "The fit between our firms is excellent and reflects a shared commitment to absolute professionalism; objective, high quality advice; and superior service and execution."

"We welcome our new relationship with Goldman Sachs with great enthusiasm and are pleased to bring this heightened level of commitment to our clients and employees," said John Breyo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ayco. "We provide our clients with the highest quality objective financial counseling and, with Goldman Sachs behind us, we will significantly enhance our brand recognition and our ability to promote our services to an expanded client base."

Ayco will operate as part of the Private Wealth Management business. After the transaction is completed, management teams from the two firms will work closely to leverage their complementary platforms and continue to deliver objective advice within an extended suite of products and services. For example, Ayco's counseling group will have access to the global investment resources of Goldman Sachs, and Goldman Sachs' Private Wealth Management group will be able to offer Ayco's extensive portfolio of financial planning capabilities, including tax, estate and charitable planning services. After closing, Mr. Breyo will continue to serve as CEO of Ayco and the company will maintain its headquarters in the Albany area.

With offices nationwide and with roots in the financial planning field that stretch back to 1939, The Ayco Company, L.P., is a leading firm dedicated primarily to objective, fee-based financial counseling. Ayco offers sophisticated financial counseling and financial education advice to executives at over 465 major companies nationwide and employs nearly 1,100 associates, many of whom hold advanced degrees in law, business, accounting and financial planning.

Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management supervises the complex financial needs of some of the wealthiest and most influential families in the world. Private Wealth Management has been assisting high net worth families since 1945 and today has a worldwide presence with 18 offices around the globe. Its Investment Professionals, working in teams, act as Chief Investment Officers for their clients. They provide customized advice and service, embracing an open architecture approach to selecting exclusive investment products, in seeking to provide clients with excellent investment performance.

Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net worth individuals. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms. The firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world.