Goldman banker heads to Owl Rock

Goldman Sachs’ co-head of leveraged finance is joining the new lending firm, as Goldman combines its leveraged and structured finance businesses.  

Craig Packer, the Americas co-head of leveraged finance at Goldman Sachs, is leaving the bank to join Owl Rock Capital, according to a number of reports last week. Owl Rock is the new credit firm being set up by GSO’s founder Doug Ostrover and KKR’s head of energy and infrastructure, Marc Lipschultz.

Packer is leaving Goldman amid a broader restructuring at the US bank, according to Goldman internal memos obtained by PDI. The firm is merging its leveraged and structured finance divisions. Christina Minnis and Vivek Bantwal will oversee the new platform. Minnis was the other co-head of leveraged finance with Packer at Goldman. Bantwal has run the US investment bank's structured finance business since 2015.

Packer held his leveraged finance co-head role at Goldman since 2008. He first joined the bank in 2006 in a senior role overseeing high-yield capital markets. Before joining Goldman, he was the head of high-yield capital markets at Credit Suisse.

“During his tenure at the firm, Craig has made a significant contribution in growing our leveraged finance franchise.  He has developed trusted relationships with numerous clients and has played a central role in many industry leading transactions,” said the Goldman memo announcing Packer’s departure.

The combined Goldman group is called Americas Credit Finance Group. “[It] will allow us to better serve our clients by providing integrated financing and strategic advice across a broad spectrum of the credit capital markets.  Our clients are increasingly focused on optimizing capital structure and the new group will deliver customized solutions to clients as we continue to grow our debt underwriting capabilities,” said another Goldman memo about the restructuring from Marc Nachmann, co-head of the global financing group at Goldman Sachs.

Ostrover, one of three co-founders at Blackstone-owned GSO, left the firm last summer. He is said to be talking to other capital markets professionals about joining Owl Rock.