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One of Goldman Sachs’ top technology bankers said he was leaving the bankto make private equity investments, reflecting a surge of interest among buy-out funds in the maturing information technology industry.

Lawrence Calcano, co-head of technology banking, said that he was still deciding whether to join an established private equity firm or join with others in creating a new partnership.

A 16-year Goldman veteran, Mr Calcano ran Goldman’s technology group with George Lee. He was named a partner in 2000, putting him among the group of executives who benefited from Goldman’s subsequent initial public offering.

The Goldman banker, who disclosed his departure in an e-mail addressed to “clients and friends”, said his decision was a personal one. “After doing something for 20 years you get itchy,” Mr Calcano, 43, said. “I’ve been thinking about this from a year ago.”

The last year has seen a jump in interest by private equity firms in the technology industry. Until recently, most buy-out firms avoided the industry, put off by high valuations and growth rates not seen as conducive to the sort of leveraged financial structures preferred by private equity investors.

However, with parts of the industry maturing fast, information technology has become more open to buy-out funds, said Mr Calcano.

While he may set up in partnership with other former Goldman partners in the future, Mr Calcano said that his departure would not lead to other defections from the bank.

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