Goldman Sachs eyes post-Brexit future with hefty Frankfurt office expansion

Goldman Sachs has taken out a lease on office space in a new tower block under construction in Frankfurt for as many as 1,000 employees, ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

The Wall Street bank said in a statement that it had signed a contract to lease substantial space on the upper floors on the new Marienturm tower block that is being built in the heart of the financial district.

Sources speaking on condition of anonymity told Bloomberg that the bank had agreed to take 10,000 sq m (108,000 sq ft) at the Marienturm.

“Goldman Sachs has signed a lease agreement for the upper floors of the Marienturm in Frankfurt, a new office tower currently under construction,” the bank said in a statement.

“This expanded office space will allow us to grow our operations in Germany to continue serving our clients, as well as provide us with the space to execute on our Brexit contingency plan as needed.”

The move would suggest a four- or five-fold increase in the number of employees it has in its Frankfurt office, and it has substantial presences in Dublin and Paris.

It is also building a new European base in Farringdon, London though, according to Financial Times, “it has designed the site so that sections can be sublet if it decides not to occupy all of the 850,000 sq ft of available space”.

London ‘very likely’ to remain largest office in Europe

Goldman Sachs presently employs 6,500 staff in the UK, and earlier this year chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, pictured above, told the BBC that it was still “very likely” that London would remain its largest EU office by a “substantial margin”.

But in the same interview, he sounded a cautious note, saying: “If you cannot benefit from access to the EU from the UK, and nobody knows what those rules and determinations will be, then the risk is there will be some adjustment that will cause some people to have a smaller footprint in the UK.”

Pushing for a longer transitional period, he said that that if there were no two-year implementation period after Brexit talks finally end, the bank “may have to do things prematurely and we will have to do a range of things as a precaution and take steps. But right now we are trying to avoid that”.


Eugene Costello
Eugene Costello has been a journalist for some 20 years, and has written for a wide variety of UK and international newspapers and magazines.

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