By Jenny Strasburg
LONDON--What's good for SoftBank Group Corp. could be very good for a trio of London bankers who worked together at Deutsche Bank AG, and whose deal making ambitions increasingly overlap with the Japanese tech company's highflying investment plans.
It could also be very good for Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Two of the three bankers and ex-Deutsche Bank AG colleagues-- Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu--are advising SoftBank's big new technology investment venture, called the Vision Fund, on fundraising and financing.
For most of a decade, Messrs. Al-Bassam and Ariburnu worked together with the SoftBank fund's chief executive, Rajeev Misra, at Deutsche Bank.
In 2009, Mr. Ariburnu left the German lender for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. where he co-headed fixed-income, currencies and commodities sales as a partner. His clients included SoftBank.
Now, the SoftBank-Goldman relationship is deepening with the launch of the $100 billion SoftBank fund. Goldman is the lead financial adviser to the fund, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Goldman banker who has overseen the relationship is Simon N. Holden, who until recently was global head of telecoms advisory and head of European technology, media and telecom banking.
In December, Mr. Holden was promoted to chief operating officer for Goldman's entire investment-banking division, based in New York. He starts that new job this month, according to an internal memo. Goldman's role with the Vision Fund continues, people familiar with the matter say.
As for Messrs. Al-Bassam and Ariburnu, they're poised to benefit from relationships with some of t he ultrarich investors in the Middle East and elsewhere who are committing tens of billions of dollars to the SoftBank fund.
The two bankers also have a separate investment venture with overlapping ambitions.
Last year, Messrs. Al-Bassam and Ariburnu left their big-bank jobs and reunited with a third ex-Deutsche Bank colleague, Michele Faissola, who had been running the German lender's asset- and wealth-management business until late 2015.
The three formed a firm called F.A.B. Partners, backed by investors they knew from their work at Deutsche Bank and Goldman.
In August 2016, F.A.B. did its first deal, buying a U.S. credit-fund manager for $333 million. Then F.A.B. seemed to go quiet.
Meanwhile, Messrs. Al-Bassam and Ariburnu were working behind the scenes helping Mr. Misra and SoftBank set up the Vision Fund, introducing investors and brokering meetings.
Mr. Faissola, meanwhile, has been advising members of Qatar's royal family on their investments, including on their role as the top shareholder in Deutsche Bank, as The Wall Street Journal reported last year. Mr. Faissola has been keeping a low profile and has no public role in the SoftBank fund. He is fighting charges in Italy that he, along with others at Deutsche Bank, helped Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA misrepresent its finances. He has denied wrongdoing.
F.A.B. and the Vision Fund have some investors in common and could seek to co-invest on deals, in effect more deeply marrying their interests, according to people close to the businesses.
On its own, F.A.B. has been pursuing deals in sectors including commodities, asset management, transportation and real estate, according to people with knowledge of the firm's activities. F.A.B.'s model is to focus on investments with a horizon of 10 years or more, the people said. Some of F.A.B.'s backers have strategic holdings in sectors the investment firm is focusing on.
So far, Deutsche Bank has no role or direct relationship with the alums' investment firm, according to people familiar with the matter.
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