Goldman ranks as top activism defense firm, beating Morgan Stanley
Goldman, Morgan Stanley | March 06, 2020
Goldman Sachs (GS.N) ranked as the top adviser to companies targeted by activist investors in 2019, dethroning Morgan Stanley (MS.N), which had held the top spot for three straight years, according to Refinitiv data published on Friday. In 2019 Goldman advised on 48 campaigns to capture the top spot while Morgan Stanley advised on 37 campaigns, the data shows. Goldman worked on some of the year’s biggest campaigns, helping defend Sony (6758.T) against hedge fund Third Point, AT&T (T.N) against Elliott Management, and eBay (EBAY.O) against Elliott and Starboard Value. In 2018, the two New York-based investment banks advised on roughly the same number of campaigns each with Morgan Stanley having been involved in 33, compared with Goldman Sachs’ 32, Refinitiv data shows. Spotlight Advisors, founded by Greg Taxin, a lawyer who worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Securities, captured the No. 3 spot last year with 31 campaigns.