Growing up, Ariel Goldman, partner in the financial practice of Cahill Gordon & Reindel, had no shortage of people who made him think more.
Goldman’s father worked as a clinical director at the National Institutes of Health just outside of Washington, DC, and a host of aunts, uncles, and other relatives worked as scientists and doctors. Family reunions always featured lively debates. “Their scientific approach to the world has had a great impact on me,” he said. “They taught me to ask questions and think critically about my problems.”
“I wanted to chart my own course and I thought the law was a good place for me to apply some of that critical thinking in a different direction,” he said.
After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center, Goldman’s legal journey took him to Cahill Gordon’s Manhattan office, where he represents banks in debt buyouts, recapitalizations, debt deals and shares and other corporate finance transactions.
“We constantly have these situations where a business has needs and the bank has needs,” he said. “You have to thread the needle to bring the two sides together.”
The havoc the Covid-19 pandemic has wrought on businesses and employees has given him a new appreciation for his specialty, Goldman said, recalling his work on investment banking deals that have helped keep businesses afloat like SeaWorld and The Gap.
“To work on a fundraiser where you’re actually helping people keep their jobs, it’s just very rewarding,” he said. “You don’t just pay a dividend or help move money from one pile to another. It’s about keeping the lights on in businesses that employ thousands and thousands of people.
Goldman and his colleagues have represented investment banks, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., to help SeaWorld mine $ 500 million in guaranteed notes in April 2020 to earn more cash.
Cahill’s finance team worked on subsequent financings which enabled the amusement park operator to refinance part of this debt on more favorable terms.
The Gap, a retail giant, raised $ 2.25 billion in secured notes in May 2020 with funding from Morgan Stanley and other investment banks, chopped by Goldman and his team as he was struggling with closed stores during the pandemic.
“It is very gratifying to help these companies and to help the banks to work with these companies to achieve a successful resolution of an extraordinary and unexpected problem,” he said.
Goldman’s work consistently demonstrates his creativity “when the facts he encounters are new or nuanced,” said Douglas Horowitz, partner in Cahill’s corporate practice group who worked with Goldman.
“It’s pretty easy with the banking side as well as the high yield side,” Horowitz said.
His intellectual flexibility also extends to complex financing in mergers and acquisitions. Goldman represented investment banks, including Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, in financing the massive acquisition of Sprint by T-Mobile, then a rival mobile operator when the deal was announced in April 2018. ” It was a very large funding with a very complicated structure. ,” he said.
The deal, which required the sale of assets for regulatory approval, was reached in early April 2020, as financial markets were in shock. “I faced a lot of challenges juggling these different complications, and I think I really grew as a lawyer.”
“The Covid key at the end was really a nasty surprise, but something we got through,” he added.
Vigorous exercise helps it cope with work stress, Goldman said. During the pandemic, he resumed long-distance cycling and now rides about 150 miles per week. He often goes to Bear Mountain State Park, about 80 miles each way from his home in Manhattan.
Exercise is an “opportunity to clear your head and not have the phone ringing or the emails coming in”.
The father of three young children also enjoys taking his children to cycle along the Hudson River.
“It’s something that we like to experience in the city, to enjoy this green space,” he said.