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Dealmaking to build if Trump delivers on further deregulation, says Goldman's top banker

  • John Waldron tells CNBC that M&A has started off slow this year.
  • He sees a pickup if Trump delivers on more deregulation.

Dealmaking will pick up once President Donald Trump delivers on more deregulation, Goldman Sachs' co-head of investment banking told CNBC on Tuesday.

In an exclusive interview on "Squawk on the Street," John Waldron said the United States got off to a slow start this year with mergers and acquisitions.

"There was enormous optimism coming out of the election in the United States ... We certainly got off to a slower start in January and February than we would have expected," Waldron said.

"As the markets chew through some of the challenges out there, whether it's the French election, some of the policy issues in the United States ... you're seeing, I think, optimism build and more activity coming into our backlog," he said.

U.S. stocks have traded near all-time highs, but investors are still concerned about Trump's ability to fulfill his campaign promises.

Waldron said dealmaking hasn't been all bad news. The volume of M&A activity is up 10 percent year to date, he said, trending higher.

"There's no question if we were to get some more deregulation across the United States, we would see more opportunities for dealmaking," he said.

Goldman isn't waiting for that to happen tomorrow, Waldron said, and is running the business as it is today. "But there is room for upside," he said.