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The lack of transformative mergers and acquisitions in 2016 may be due to increased caution among corporate boards, said Goldman Sachs executive David Solomon.
Solomon, who co-heads his firm's investment banking division, said that while M&A activity is still occurring at a "relatively robust level," wariness of anti-trust measures has halted and sometimes even blocked deals from going through.
"The bar for a board to move forward certainly feels a little bit higher," Solomon told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Wednesday.
"People want to be sure that they do their homework, that the transaction's in a position where they've got a good chance of bringing it to the finish line," he said.
Solomon added that election worries and large-scale events such as Brexit also breed uncertainty and harm confidence, which in turn could cause slowed activity.
Speaking at the Builders + Innovators Summit, Solomon also analyzed this year's slowing IPO activity in the U.S. market.
Not only are private companies turned off by the increasingly complicated IPO process, Solomon said, but they are finding themselves able to run in private form for a longer period of time than they were able to in the past.
"If you can grow your business, if you have access to capital and you have an ability to compensate your people and really move your business forward, certainly I think many entrepreneurs, many founders are considering delaying those IPOs for a period of time," he said.
In response to the idea that by remaining private, companies take away investment opportunities from potentially key shareholders, Solomon contended companies have found ways through which they can still garner investor support.
"A lot of these companies have raised significant capital privately, and that capital comes from mutual funds and other institutional investors that are allowing people to participate along the way," he said.
The Builders + Innovators Summit, hosted by Goldman Sachs, is being held on Oct. 19-21 in Santa Barbara, CA.