Meet Jane Dunlevie, one of Goldman Sachs' youngest new partners and a Silicon Valley native who leads deals with red-hot companies like Shopify and Pinterest

  • Jane Dunlevie, a co-head of Goldman's global internet investment-banking business within its technology, media, and telecommunications group, was promoted to partner on Thursday.
  • Dunlevie, 35, works with big-ticket tech clients, including companies like Shopify, Pinterest, and PayPal.
  • She spoke to Business Insider about her early fascination with Goldman Sachs and curiosity around innovation. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In 2007, fresh out of Stanford University, Jane Dunlevie began her career as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, at the base of one of Wall Street's tallest mountains.

If breaking into the firm's exclusive partnership is considered the peak, then, 13 years after she first joined the firm, Dunlevie scaled its summit.

"We're obviously individually excited, but I think collectively incredibly proud of the achievements of the whole group," Dunlevie told Business Insider in an interview Thursday, a few hours after being elevated to partnership via a phone call direct from the bank's CEO David Solomon himself.

Dunlevie, is a co-head of Goldman's global internet investment banking business within its technology, media, and telecommunications group, which produced seven out of the total 19 investment bankers who were elevated to partner in this year's class. At only 35 years old, Dunlevie's rise to the top has been fairly quick.

Read more: 4 brand-new Goldman Sachs partners told us what it's like to get a call from CEO David Solomon inviting them to one of Wall Street's most exclusive groups

Overall, the 2020 partner class at Goldman consists of 60 executives worldwide.

Among the tech execs who were raised to partnership alongside Dunlevie on Thursday are three others who she named as close colleagues — Ryan Nolan, a co-head of global software investment banking; Will Connolly, the head of the tech ECM business; and Mike Voris, head of convertibles and private placements.

Between the four of them, the clients they advise comprise a who's who of technology giants.

Dunlevie's clientele includes such firms as Shopify, Pinterest, and PayPal. The deals that she has worked on include public offerings for tech firms like Cloudflare — an IPO that valued the software security firm at more than $3 billion — and Pinterest, which reportedly valued the social media giant at more than $10 billion.

See more: Snowflake's mega IPO resulted in more than $100 million in fees for investment banks. Here's how much Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and 8 other banks each made.

Nolan, meanwhile, works with Hewlett-Packard and Netflix. And Connolly is responsible for Goldman Sachs' top-ranked tech IPO business, which has spawned such IPO juggernauts as this year's Snowflake IPO, the biggest-ever software public offering. And Voris has worked on deals for companies like Square and Snap.

"You think of somebody like Ryan Nolan — we've worked on teams for the same clients for many, many years. Will Connolly and I work on almost every IPO together. [And I have worked] with Mike Voris raising converts for tons and tons of our clients," she said, "so it's fun to see the collective efforts of people that you really respect and have worked with for a long time."

Before she became a power player herself, Dunlevie got to work with them firsthand

As a young banker, Dunlevie had access to top dealmakers drawing on Goldman's services.

"I did a bunch of IPO's as a relatively junior person in our business," she said. "In your mid-twenties, when you get to work on an IPO with a tech company, for me it seemed like the fastest way to get to be able to talk to CEOs and CFOs and get them to tell you everything about their business and their ambitions and how they ran the business, and then help them synthesize that for investors."

But Dunlevie's original foray into tech might be unsurprising given that she's the scion of a Silicon Valley superpower.

Jane Dunlevie, Goldman SachsGoldman Sachs

Indeed, she shares her last name — a platinum moniker in tech circles — with her father, Bruce Dunlevie. The elder Dunlevie cofounded Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benchmark Capital in 1995, which went on to make successful early bets in eBay and Uber, among others.

Jane grew up in Northern California and never left, attending Stanford as an undergraduate and then for her business degree. A student of the innovation economy, she set out to forge her own identity by going into banking, not tech. She knew she wanted to work at Goldman during her first years at Stanford, she said Thursday.

"Look, I grew up here. I went to Stanford both times," she said. "And so you certainly catch the itch to be close to innovation. I do it in a finance seat, but it's hard not to be excited about it."

'It's been impossible to leave'

Outside of her pedigree, Dunlevie has set about forging an identity of her own in tech since she joined Goldman Sachs. "I wanted to work at Goldman as an undergraduate and I showed up here and have done really, really interesting things ever since," she said. "It's been impossible to leave."

Meanwhile, in spite of a tumultuous 2020, TMT deals at Goldman are still hot.

Just one day after Dunlevie's promotion to partner, the food delivery service DoorDash released its filing on Friday to go public, with Goldman Sachs playing a leading role in advising on the IPO. Meanwhile, dating app Bumble is reportedly considering an IPO in 2021, and plans to have Goldman Sachs also lead that, according to Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs' entire investment-banking business ranks number one in mergers and acquisitions (307 deals) and bookrunning for equity capital markets (501 transactions), according to Dealogic. 

Now, as Dunlevie looks to the future, she also reflected on the people who, over more than a decade at the firm, have helped her define her past.

"I feel super grateful to all the people that have mentored me and helped me be successful here," she said, naming Goldman veterans Nick Giovanni, global head of TMT, and Sam Britton, head of M&A within the TMT group, as mentors who showed her the ropes at the start of her career.

As a partner, Dunlevie said she plans to continue mentoring the next generation of bankers — including women and diverse constituencies.

"We have such a young, talented group of people," Dunlevie said. "It's really fun to watch them thrive, and I'm excited to bring more and more diverse, amazing people through the system at Goldman."

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