Goldman creates ‘brain trust’ in effort to boost deals business

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is betting it can get its money-making mojo back by pitching creative deals to big, complex clients, marking a return to its investment banking roots as trading revenue slows.

The Wall Street bank is forming a group, known internally as the Innovation Lab, focused on generating compelling deal ideas for companies like Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) or Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp’s (9984.T) $93 billion investment fund, people familiar with the matter said.

The new “brain trust,” as one insider called it, is aimed at supercharging investment banking revenue as trading, for many years Goldman’s profit engine, has faltered amid regulations and market trends that hurt the bank more than rivals.

From 2009-2016, Goldman’s annual trading revenue fell by more than $18 billion, or 32 percent, while investment banking revenue rose by $1.3 billion, or 26 percent. That trend has accelerated this year.

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