Goldman Sachs’s Brafman Said to Leave Firm After 11 Years

Goldman Sachs’s Brafman Said to Leave This Week After 11 Years
Lester R. Brafman has been a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. managing director, the second-highest rank at the firm after partner, since 2003. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Lester R. Brafman, a managing director in the high-yield debt sales and trading department at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., left this week after 11 years at the firm, according to five people familiar with the matter.

Brafman, 50, joined New York-based Goldman Sachs in 2001 after six years at Credit Suisse First Boston Inc., according to records maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. He previously worked at Wasserstein Perella Securities Inc. and Lehman Brothers Inc., the records show.

Brafman ran high-yield debt trading at Credit Suisse and had a similar role after joining Goldman Sachs. He’s been a Goldman Sachs managing director, the second-highest rank at the firm, after partner, since 2003.

Goldman Sachs, which generated 58 percent of first-half revenue from sales and trading, eliminated 20 to 30 jobs in that division this week, a person familiar with the matter said yesterday. The firm last month reported its lowest first-half revenue since 2005 and said it would cut $500 million from costs, on top of $1.4 billion in savings already achieved.

Sales of high-yield debt in the U.S. have already set a record for August as companies tap into an unprecedented $44.9 billion of cash that has poured into funds that buy junk bonds in 2012. Yields that are near record lows and a slowdown in earnings growth have sparked concern that the market for the debt has peaked.

Michael DuVally, a spokesman at Goldman Sachs, declined to comment on Brafman’s departure.

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