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A Goldman Sachs sign is seen over their kiosk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in this file photo.

© Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is on track for record investment-banking revenue in Canada this year, setting a high bar for the incoming head of the firm in this country.

Retiring country head Jack Curtin said in an interview that the firm has brought in more banking revenue this year than in any year since he first came to Canada in 1996.

For new Goldman Sachs Canada head Peter Enns, keeping that going will mean ensuring Goldman benefits from the stronger focus on natural resources it built in recent years. Calgary is now a much bigger share of the firm's business than ever before.

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It will also mean getting hired to work on a large proportion of the deals done globally by Canadian pension funds. While other industries might go into funks from time to time, the pension funds continue to do deals year in and year out. Miss out on those, as Mr. Curtin says, and you miss a lot of the potential business for Goldman.

For the pension funds, the key is to bring them ideas – essentially, companies they might want to buy, said Mr. Enns. That's something Goldman can do better than Canadian-based firms, he argued.

"The domestics can't compete on that, simply because they don't have the network," Mr. Enns said. "It's not because they're not smart, or don't work hard, but it's because they don't have the network."

The pension funds want ideas that don't involve participating in competitive auctions for companies that are up for sale.

"They'll get the phone call from any auction anyway," he said.

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