Goldman Sachs Seeks Volunteers for Move to West Palm Beach Digs

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s plan to move part of its asset-management unit to Florida is gaining momentum, as the Wall Street bank discreetly seeks volunteers for the first wave and prepares office space.

In recent weeks, executives overseeing Goldman Sachs Asset Management and its merchant banking operations have asked managers to identify people willing to be relocated to West Palm Beach, according to people familiar with the matter. The initial group could comprise a couple hundred people, including investment professionals.

Meanwhile, the firm has been in talks with developer Related Cos. to arrange offices and explore the possibility of eventually expanding further in Florida, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are confidential. Depending partly on executives’ interest, Goldman could also send some employees from other divisions to West Palm Beach as part of a longer-term effort to cut expenses, the people said.

A year of pandemic has spurred conversations in the highest rungs of the financial industry over shifting more workers from high-cost cities such as New York to places like Florida, where taxes are lower and the weather is warm. For years, Florida developers and promoters have plowed money into high-end office space and private schools, only to score incremental wins luring small hedge funds and family-wealth managers. Some don’t even stay.

But under Chief Executive Officer David Solomon, Goldman is leaning harder into a strategy taking advantage of cheaper locales, or what it calls “high-value locations.” The bank already has beefed up its presence in Utah and Texas with thousands of jobs. The firm has no new plans to announce at this time, Leslie Shribman, a Goldman spokeswoman said.

Stephanie Cohen, Goldman’s co-head of consumer and wealth management, is working on setting up a second base for herself in Dallas as the region becomes a more prominent center for her division, the people said. The city has long been a destination for the firm’s back-office roles.

It’s all part of broad deliberations over where employees will work in the future, once vaccinations are more prevalent and outbreaks subside. Among Goldman managers, one takeaway of the pandemic is that the bank can function efficiently from disparate locations.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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