Edward C. Forst and John E. Urban, both in the bank loan group at Goldman Sachs & Co., were recently promoted to managing director, underscoring the importance Goldman has placed on its lending effort.

Mr. Forst, 35, heads loan origination at Goldman, and Mr. Urban, 33, leads the loan trading desk. Mr. Forst, who has been at Goldman for two years, is formerly of Bankers Trust New York Corp. Mr. Urban, a four- year Goldman veteran, is formerly of Continental Bank Corp.

"The bank loan business is strategically important to Goldman Sachs," said Robert O'Shea, a partner at Goldman Sachs who has been overseeing the business since its inception in 1990. "The promotion of John and Ed to managing director exemplifies Goldman Sach's growing commitment and success in the underwriting, trading, and distribution of bank loans."

The investment bank, like Merrill Lynch & Co., CS First Boston, and Lehman Brothers, has been originating and syndicating loans since 1994.

In the third quarter, Goldman won its first large, leveraged transaction for a borrower other than its own merchant banking arm: a $1.225 billion loan for Allied Waste Industries' $1.5 billion acquisition of the trash- handling business of Laidlaw Inc.

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