Brokerdealer.com blog update courtesy of extract from today’s WSJ story profiling James Bond style schemes used by bankers and brokers in effort to wrap pending deals and transactions under a cone of silence.
“Project Swift” sounds like the name of a military invasion or an Olympic marathoner’s training plan. But it is actually the code name for a corporate buyout, inspired by a private-equity associate’s fondness for singer Taylor Swift.
Labels like Project Token, the name Apollo Global Management APO +0.41% LLC used to mask its purchase of children’s restaurant favorite Chuck E. Cheese, or Project Fusion, the code for Kinder Morgan Inc. KMI +1.23% ‘s consolidation of its oil-and-gas holdings into a single company, are designed to keep reporters, traders and even rival companies from sniffing out deal news before formal announcements are made.
For the young bankers who get to choose them, code names are an amusing diversion from the financial modeling and PowerPoint presentations that fill their days.
But one deal-making powerhouse is putting an end to the name game, opting instead to automate the process to avoid the pitfalls that go with the territory.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS +0.82% now requires bankers to use name-generating software that offers 10 random options like Project Calculator or Project Daniel. The new system has been phased in across the bank over the past two years, according to people familiar with it.
Though bankers can refresh the options as often as they like, some say the new naming process has taken some fun out of the game. And they say people involved in their deals often forget the random names generated by the software.
For the full story from the WSJ, please click here.