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Goldman Sachs just hired distressed veteran Kurt Hoffman into a trading unit known for doing some of the bank's most lucrative deals

David Solomon

  • Goldman Sachs has hired Kurt Hoffman as a managing director in the Structured Finance Investing and Lending group, according to two people with knowledge of his appointment. 
  • Hoffman joins from Imperial Capital LLC, where he worked on distressed and special situations, as well as bankruptcies, according to his LinkedIn profile.
  • The appointment reunites two longtime work colleagues, bringing Hoffman together again with Tom Tormey, who co-leads the SFIL unit. Both were lawyers at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in the early 2000s. 
  • Goldman's SFIL group is the successor to one named Principal Funding and Investments, responsible for some of the banks most profitable trades over the years. 
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Goldman Sachs has hired distressed situations and bankruptcy expert Kurt Hoffman as a managing director in a  business that handles one-off loans for clients just as industries battered by the economic shutdown are in need of emergency financing. 

Hoffman started last month and will report to Tom Tormey, global co-head of the business known as Structured Finance Investing and Lending, according to two people with knowledge of the appointment. The business is overseen by Ram Sundaram, who also has other responsibilities. Both Tormey and Sundaram are partners.

A Goldman Sachs representative declined to comment for this story.  

While it can be difficult to get information about the group's activities, a press release last year announced a $100 million financing agreement between Goldman and Mexican lending platform Konfio. The fintech startup makes loans to small and medium-sized businesses in the Latin American nation. 

Hoffman and Tormey have known each other for nearly 20 years, having worked side by side at law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, the people said. Hoffman worked in the bankruptcy and restructuring group at Davis Polk for five years until 2005, when he left for the boutique distressed debt brokerage Imperial Capital LLC, according to his LinkedIn profile. He's been there ever since. 

Tormey left the law firm the following year for Wall Street, joining UBS and then, in 2008, Goldman Sachs. Tormey was one of three co-heads of Goldman's distressed business several years ago before his elevation to partner led the other two execs to leave and preceded his move to SFIL. 

Last year, Goldman hired another lawyer for Tormey's group when it added Humayun Khalid, a member of the bankruptcy and restructuring practice at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, according to Bloomberg. Prior to leaving Gottlied, Khalid worked with Goldman in a Lehman Brothers Chapter 11 litigation situation, according to trade publication Commercial Dispute Resolution. 

Goldman's SFIL unit is the successor to one known as Principal Funding and Investment, which has done some of the bank's more profitable trades over the years. It was on the other side of the credit-default swap trades that brought down global insurer American International Group, for example, as well as the deals for the Malaysia development fund known as 1MDB.

The PFI unit purchased at least two of the bond issues and distributed them to investors, earning hundreds of millions of dollars. Toby Watson, a Hong Kong based partner, who worked on the desk and interfaced with 1MBD, left the firm in 2017, the Wall Street Journal wrote at the time.

Tormey wasn't working in the unit at the time. 

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