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Seattle investment Banking

Banking Investment / September 9, 2021

The well-connected investment bank wants better connections with Pacific Northwest companies, and not just the big fish. Also, Vancouver home prices are so high the provincial government is offering to help residents muster a down payment when they buy.


Seattle Times business staff

Goldman Sachs executives are packing their bags and relocating to Washington. No, not just the other Washington — this one.

The powerful New York-based company is moving to Seattle an investment banking veteran who has co-led its Western regional advisory group in San Francisco, establishing a local office focused on the region’s growth companies.

Rather than ask why, said Dave Eisman, who will run what he describes as a small group, “Another way of looking at it is, how could you not have been here, because the companies and the people are that important?”

At the top of the food chain, “there are extraordinary companies here that are global leaders … companies that are changing the face of the planet, basically, ” he said.

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But that’s not all that attracted Goldman, which may now be the only top global investment bank with a full-time office here.

Along with the expected technology businesses, there are industrial and consumer-oriented companies that Goldman hopes to cultivate. And given the proclivity of many Pacific Northwest businesses to keeping a low profile, Eisman said, he’s also on the lookout for “family companies or private companies that could be a billion dollars and nobody’s heard of them before.”

Of course, even without locally based investment bankers Goldman has long found fertile ground in this area. It led the Microsoft initial public offering in 1986 (at $21 per share, for a total market capitalization of about $500 million, if you missed it).

More recently, in 2013 it led the IPO for Tableau Software and in 2014 was the lead underwriter for the initial offering of Seattle-based Juno Therapeutics, the biggest biotechnology IPO that year. This year Goldman was the lead underwriter for one of Washington state’s three IPOs, Apptio’s nearly $100 million debut.

It also has had its hand in plenty of merger and acquisition activity. Eisman said Goldman investment bankers helped Starbucks complete the acquisition of its Japan operations, aided on a huge debt offering for, worked on the sale of Zulilly and took part in Zillow’s purchase of Trulia.

Goldman Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn is leaving the investment bank to be Trump’s assistant for economic policy and national economic council director, while former Goldman executive Steve Mnuchin has been nominated to lead the Treasury Department.

B.C. to assist first-time buyers

Home prices are so expensive in Canada’s priciest property market that the government is stepping in with loans to help first-time buyers rustle together a down payment, Bloomberg News reports.

British Columbia will start a program on Jan. 16 that will offer to match the nest egg amassed by buyers for their first house by up to C$37, 500 ($28, 000) or 5 percent of the purchase value, B.C. Premier Christy Clark said at a news conference. It’s estimated to cost about C$703 million ($526 million) over the next three years and help about 42, 000 households enter the market.

“People need a partner in scraping up that first down payment, ” said Clark, whose Liberal Party faces re-election in May.

Canada’s most expensive real-estate market is Vancouver, where the price of a typical single-family home has surged to C$1.5 million. The province imposed a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers in August, while the federal government tightened mortgage rules in October, which have taken some heat out of prices, but they remain about 20 times median household earnings.

Under the new first-time buyer program, the 25-year loans will have no interest and no repayment for the first five years. The province expects more than 40, 000 households to seek the loans and is setting aside C$703 million over the next three years for the program, according to a statement.

British Columbia will fund the loans with revenue from property taxes, including money it has amassed from the recent tax on foreign buyers, Clark said.