Goldman's top tech banker jumps ship for Coatue: source

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO Tue May 13, 2014 3:39pm EDT

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NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc technology investment banker Anthony Noto, who helped orchestrate Twitter Inc's successful IPO in November, is leaving to join private equity firm Coatue Management, according to a Goldman memo and a source familiar with the matter.

It is unclear what role Noto, who won plaudits from Wall Street and Silicon Valley for leading the messaging service's low-profile but smooth coming-out party, will play at Coatue. The source confirmed that Noto is joining the private equity firm on condition of anonymity.

His contacts and experience were deemed key to netting the Twitter win for Goldman after Morgan Stanley snagged the much-larger, but far more troubled Facebook Inc IPO in 2012.

Noto's departure from Goldman comes just as China's Alibaba is preparing what could the world's largest technology IPO later this year. Goldman is helping manage the debut, along with Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley.

Coatue has been investing more aggressively, getting into late-stage pre-IPO startups and competing with the likes of Rizvi Traverse and Tiger Global. It has invested in startups, including Snapchat, storage service Box and ride-sharing concern Lyft. Coatue founder and manager Philippe Laffont once worked for legendary investor Julian Robertson.

Noto, a former Army ranger and National Football League executive, started as an analyst at Goldman, where he became known for pumping up huge flops such as Webvan and eToys during the 2000 bust.

Dan Drees, appointed Goldman's co-head of the global technology, media and telecom in investment banking just this year, assumes sole charge of that division, according to a copy of an internal memo obtained by Reuters.

Goldman has played a key role in several recent technology mega-transactions, including acting as lead bookrunner for Apple Inc's $12 billion debt financing, and advising on Microsoft Corp's acquisition of Nokia Corp.

The news was first reported by tech blog Re/Code.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim, Sarah McBride and Gerry Shih. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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