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Goldman Sachs hires Barclays' executive to S.Africa unit

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By Promit Mukherjee and Emma Rumney

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group has hired Simon Denny, head of Banking Africa at Barclays Plc , to run investment banking at its South African unit, the U.S. banking giant told Reuters on Monday.

Goldman has been building up its activities in the region and seeking to win business as the continent's most advanced economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, making fertile ground for deals, debt-raising and restructuring.

"Simon joins the firm as a managing director and head of investment banking in S.A (South Africa)," Goldman said in response to emailed questions, adding that he starts his new role from Oct. 1.

Denny had been Barclays' head of Africa banking since March 2019, and brings with him a strong list of clientele to the U.S. banking firm.

His major deals at the London-based bank included advising Massmart Holdings, the local unit of U.S. retail giant Walmart, on the sale of some of its divisions to South Africa's biggest retailer Shoprite Holdings last month in a $890 million deal.

Prior to Barclays, Denny was the managing director of Deutsche Bank in South Africa.

As part of its "firm commitment" to South Africa, Goldman has moved to a new office and brought in new senior executives, including Zoya Sisulu from South Africa's biggest lender Standard Bank as head of company's financing group from June, the bank said.

Jonathan Penkin remains the head of the Johannesburg office and chief executive of Goldman Sachs International Bank Johannesburg Branch, the bank added. (Reporting by Promit Mukherjee and Emma Rumney; editing by Barbara Lewis)