Goldman Sachs may sell Australian businesses

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Australian asset management arm is studying the sale of the equities and fixed income businesses, according to a person familiar with the matter.

After growing the operation in recent years under local equities head Dion Hershan, the Wall Street financial firm has launched a review of alternatives for the continued expansion of the businesses.

Options being considered include a local management buyout or an outright sale of the domestic operations to a business such as a pure-play asset manager, the person said Wednesday.

The review is in its early stages and no decisions have been made, the person said. The review is focused on domestic products, and there are no plans to stop selling global products to Australian clients.

Earlier Wednesday, the Australian Financial Review on its website reported that Goldman Sachs in an internal memo to staff has said the businesses under review might best grow under new ownership.

It comes after Swiss bank UBS Group AG last year withdrew from its Australian wealth-management business following a management buyout but said it remained committed to its investment banking and asset management businesses in the country.

Goldman Sachs’s asset management operation employs about 40 people in Australia, not all of whom are affected by the review, and oversees about 9 billion Australian dollars (US$6.6 billion) in the country.

Source: MarketWatch