Of the 127 discrete steps in executing an IPO, Goldman Sachs has determined approximately half can be done by computers instead of people. As a result, the bank has developed Deal Link, a computer interface that arranges and tracks legal and compliance diligence, fills out forms, and generates reports.
The review is the brainchild of Goldman Sachs banker George Lee. Long an adviser and confidant to the Silicon Valley elite, Lee became chief information officer for the investment-banking division three years ago. Since then, he’s focused on two key goals: digitizing bankers’ workflow and using technology to enhance their advice to clients. The firm has expressed interest in automating parts of the IPO process for years -- Martin Chavez mentioned it publicly as early as September 2015, when speaking as chief information officer -- but it has never before detailed the efforts publicly in such depth.