MOVES-Goldman Sachs hires top JP Morgan dealmaker Simon

NEW YORK, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc has hired a top JPMorgan Chase & Co dealmaker, Kurt Simon, as a partner and vice chairman of its investment banking division, Goldman Sachs said in an internal memo on Friday.

A Goldman Sachs representative confirmed the contents of the memo. A JP Morgan representative declined to comment.

A move to a rival firm for a banker as senior as Simon, who was JP Morgan’s global chairman of mergers and acquisitions, is rare and underscores Goldman Sachs’ drive to be No. 1 in the global M&A league tables. It is currently second in the rankings that measure market share in M&A advisory business, behind Morgan Stanley, having worked on $846.7 billion of global deals this year and No. 1 on deals that have U.S. involvement, according to Thomson Reuters data.

JP Morgan ranks third in both global and U.S. M&A, Thomson Reuters data showed, and said last month that its M&A fees reached a record $1.2 billion in the half of the year.

“Kurt brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and valuable insights to our business and his appointment underscores our continued commitment to further strengthening and developing our global team,” Goldman Sachs’ senior leaders in its banking division - Gregg Lemkau, John Waldron and Marc Nachmann - said in the memo.

Simon will also become a co-chairman in the global technology, media and telecom group based in New York. At JP Morgan, he advised its largest clients such as Walt Disney Co , Dell Technologies Inc and Softbank Group . Simon was also based in San Francisco from 2010 until 2015.

Transformative tie-ups of telecommunications and media companies, including megadeals such as the sale of most of the assets from Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc to Disney, and the combination of Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc, have been boosting worldwide merger and acquisition activity to new highs.

In the first half of the year, announced deals in global media M&A totaled $322.5 billion, more than six times as high as the same period last year.

Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis