Goldman Sachs has been employing drones to get a close peek at potential bids before sealing billion-dollar deals during the pandemic

Business Insider US
  • Goldman Sachs has been using drones to help secure billion-dollar deals during the pandemic.
  • The shift to remote work forced investment bankers to conduct virtual tours of potential acquisition targets for their clients, the bank's co-head of mergers told CNBC.
  • "It gives buyers the confidence they need because when you are buying a business, you want to see, touch and feel what you are buying," he said.
  • Over 95% of Goldman's deal transactions were conducted without using face-to-face interaction.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Goldman Sachs has been using drone technology to get a closer look at potential targets for clients before securing billion-dollar deals, the bank's global co-head of mergers and acquisitions told CNBC.  

The coronavirus pandemic abruptly halted in-person meetings and conventional modes of conducting business deals. So the firm decided to use commercial-grade flying drones to virtually oversee everything from railroads to chemical factories, shipping ports, warehouses, and other retail locations, Stephan Feldgoise said in a CNBC interview.

"We have been selling asset-based businesses all over the world, using drones for site visits and fly-overs," he said. "It gives buyers the confidence they need because when you are buying a business, you want to see, touch and feel what you are buying."

According to him, over 95% of Goldman's hundreds of deal transactions were conducted without in-person interaction. Drone technology is likely to become an established trend, as he said "we believe it will change the M&A landscape forever."

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The unexpected shift to remote work this year forced Wall Street bankers to find ways that help companies navigate the financial fallout from Covid-19. In fact, they found that time eliminated at airports and restaurants actually boosted productivity as they could easily set up teleconference meetings via Zoom, BlueJeans, Cisco, and Microsoft Teams. 

In terms of volume, Goldman Sachs nabbed the top spot as financial advisor on mergers and acquisitions in the US so far this year, followed by Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan. Goldman has advised on 333 deals worth about $815 billion in 2020, according to Dealogic.

JPMorgan and other boutique investment banks have also begun to use on drone technology, CNBC said.

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