Donald J. Truesdale
Managing director, Goldman Sachs & Co., New York
Donald J. Truesdale has kept a low profile in public even as he's worked on a string of prestigious deals, such as Legg Mason's 2005 swap of its brokerage arm for Citigroup's asset management unit.
Among top money management executives, however, the Goldman Sachs managing director needs no introduction. He's talking to CEOs constantly, and uses that bird's-eye view of what's going on in the industry to help them glean trends, said Steve Kneeley, the CEO of Ardmore Partners LLC, Malvern, Pa. He's very understated, but he's got the CEO's ear, agreed Gary Black, the CEO of Janus Capital Group Inc., Denver.
Culling industry insights from that access, and sharing them, have helped boost Mr. Truesdale's stock among top money management executives. Robert Turner, the chairman and CIO of Berwyn, Pa.-based Turner Investment Partners Inc., said the role Mr. Truesdale and his team have played as honest brokers of information impressed him for years before he asked the firm to advise Turner on an initial public offering.
Mr. Truesdale said Goldman Sachs' willingness to invest resources in areas that don't promise an immediate payoff has been a source of strength since he joined in 1994 as a lieutenant to Milton R. Berlinski, the global head of Goldman's financial sponsors practice. The work Goldman began doing with alternative firms more than a decade ago has only recently started to reap dividends, he noted.
Today, market volatility is depressing M&A activity, but the full array of advice and options Goldman provides particularly on financing, where the firm helped asset managers such as Marsico Capital Management LLC, Legg Mason Inc. and Affiliated Managers Group Inc. raise money over the past year leaves it well positioned to ride out the storm, said Mr. Truesdale.
Another more recent development: We've been spending an awful lot of time in the Middle East and Asia ... making sure we understand the various firms over there, and what they want to invest in, Mr. Truesdale said.
Final words: If a CEO wants our thoughts, our advice, we're more than happy to do it. You win clients' trust by not trying to get paid for every single thing you do, Mr. Truesdale said.