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Goldman Moves Spilker to Oversee Hedge Funds, Buyouts

Date: Friday, December 15, 2006
Author: Christine Harper, Bloomberg.com

(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the most profitable investment bank in Wall Street history, named Marc Spilker to oversee its team of money managers that invest in hedge funds and private equity funds.

Spilker, 42, will report to Eric Schwartz and Peter Kraus, co-heads of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He moves from the securities unit, where he was co-head of U.S. equities trading and global head of volatility trading. Spilker has also held positions overseeing currency options and Japanese fixed-income, according to an internal memorandum to employees that was confirmed by spokeswoman Andrea Raphael.

Spilker, a 16-year veteran of the New York-based firm, will assume responsibilities previously held by George Walker, who left in May to run asset management at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. He won't oversee the $10 billion Global Alpha fund, part of a separate quantitative strategies unit managed by Mark Carhart and Raymond Iwanowski.

``When you're looking at the alternative investment world you want someone that has a broad exposure to different parts of the market,'' said Gary Goldstein, chief executive officer of New York-based Whitney Group, which specializes in recruiting for financial-services firms. Spilker ``is a pretty well rounded executive.''

Goldman shares fell 29 cents to $199.84 at 4:16 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange Composite trading. The shares have gained more than 56 percent so far this year.

Alternative Assets

As of Nov. 30, Goldman had $145 billion in alternative assets under management, which includes hedge funds, private equity and real estate funds. That was up 32 percent from a year earlier, eclipsing the 29 percent growth in both fixed-income and equity assets and the 17 percent rise in money-market funds.

Spilker's group will include a team called hedge fund strategies, whose money managers invest in hedge funds. It will also include the private equity group whose funds place money in buyout funds as well as a team of asset managers that farm out money to traditional investment funds. In addition, he will help develop new teams and work closely with the risk management and structured product groups, according to the memo.

``Marc Spilker's new assignment adds more focus to an area of investment management that we believe differentiates us from others,'' Kraus and Schwartz said in today's memo. ``This expanded focus allows us to continue our growth and maintain our leadership position in the industry.''

New York-based Goldman is the world's largest hedge fund manager, with $29.5 billion in assets.

Global Alpha

Goldman's Global Alpha Fund declined 12 percent this year partly on wrong-way bets that equities in Japan would rise, stocks in the rest of Asia and the U.S. would fall and the dollar would strengthen, investors in the fund said last week. In August, the fund lost almost 10 percent on unprofitable investments in global bond markets.

Last week Goldman hired 17 traders from Amaranth Advisers LLC, a hedge fund that collapsed in September after bad energy bets wiped out 70 percent of its $9.5 billion in assets.

``One of the things within our asset-management business which has made it so successful is we have a very diverse product offering, and we want to continue to make it more diverse,'' Goldman Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said in a conference call with journalists this week.

Spilker, who is based in New York, became a partner and a managing director at Goldman in 1996.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Harper in New York at charper@bloomberg.net .