Head • Prime Brokerage Sales and Capital Introduction for Hedge Fund Clients • Goldman Sachs • New York •
The events of the last year and a half aside, Dean Backer says that the changes witnessed in alternative investments have been primarily “natural, evolutionary.” Technology and market infrastructure have grown in a methodical, if rapid, fashion that has driven the alternatives business and allowed the spectacular growth for alternatives over the last two decades. “I don’t think anybody would have predicted that growth,” he says.
Backer started his career as a consultant for Anderson Consulting but has been with Goldman Sachs for 19 years. He joined the firm in 1990 and worked in the Controllers office and Goldman Sachs Trust in the Cayman Islands before becoming a vice president in 1995, when he joined Global Securities Services in New York. He became a partner in 2002.
Backer has seen an increased emphasis on the non-investment side of the alternatives business. “You continue to see a bulking up of the infrastructure that supports and propels our clients’ business,” he says. “We’re seeing a continued focus of building the middle and back offices of our hedge funds clients,” a trend he believes will accelerate in the future.
But at the end of the day, it’s still a performance business, Backer says. This year, hedge funds are performing well compared with the overall market, and their fee structure and investment strategies have remained consistent. Backer sees a reallocation of assets in the third quarter and inflows to resume by the fourth quarter of this year. He notes that the competitive landscape of prime brokerage is changing. “It will be interesting to see who the real players are in this business in the coming decades,” he says. “Our commitment remains as strong as ever.”
Previously the co-chief operating officer for Goldman Sachs Global Securities Services and its co-head of US equity sales, Backer took on his role as head of prime brokerage sales and capital introduction for hedge fund clients in November 2009.