Goldman names new head of activism defense team

FILE PHOTO: The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company's space on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

BOSTON (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs GS.N on Monday named a new head of its activism defense group after the partner leading it left the investment bank to work for hedge fund Elliott Management.

The bank said Avinash Mehrotra will be the global head of Activism and Shareholder Advisory, returning to a position he is familiar with after having served as global co-head of the group between 2015 and 2017.

“As one of our most experienced M&A bankers dealing with contested situations, his leadership will be critical amidst the recent uptick in hostile M&A activity,” Goldman’s three co-heads of global mergers and acquisitions wrote in a memo seen by Reuters.

Bloomberg first reported the news earlier on Monday.

Mehrotra was tapped after Steven Barg resigned to join Elliott, one of the world’s busiest activist hedge funds.

Mehrotra and Barg were appointed as global co-heads of activism defense in 2015 to replace William Anderson, who had moved to boutique investment bank Evercore Partners.

Mehrotra will work with Pete Michelsen, who heads the defense practice in the Americas, and Nimesh Khiroya, who heads the defense practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the memo said.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Tom Brown