Goldman Sachs to Open Birmingham Office as Footprint Spreads

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is opening a new office in Birmingham, marking the investment bank’s second U.K. location outside London.

The new building is set to open in the third quarter of 2021 and will eventually have several hundred staff across a number of divisions, the bank said in a statement Tuesday. Engineering will be the first business unit to move in, with the build out to involve a mix of transfers from London and new hires.

The investment bank cited the West Midlands city’s universities, technology sector and proximity to the London office as some of the reasons for the decision.

“Establishing a new office in Birmingham will diversify our U.K. footprint and give us access to a broad and deep talent pool in the local area,” Richard Gnodde, chief executive officer for Goldman Sachs International, said in the statement.

The Wall Street firm will initially occupy shared office space in the city center before moving to a more permanent location.

“By the end of the year we will have built out a significant presence in a temporary location, then we’ll turn our attention to designing our future Birmingham office,” Jo Hannaford, head of engineering in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a separate statement. “We are very excited to be expanding our footprint in the U.K.”

Finance Industry

Finance and related services employ more than 2.3 million people in the U.K., according to a March 2021 report by lobby group TheCityUK. While London is by far the biggest hub with about 800,000 of those jobs, cities including Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester each employ about 50,000 people working in the industry.

“In recent years we have seen significant investment from global firms into Birmingham and the West Midlands,” said Sandra Wallace, TheCityUK’s chairperson for Birmingham and a partner at law firm DLA Piper. “Goldman Sachs will be another important part of this growing West-Midland financial ecosystem, and I have no doubt they will tap into the excellent diverse local talent the city and wider region has to offer.”

Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc already have operations in the West Midlands, according to the region’s official investment promotion agency.

Goldman’s move follows recent expansion in other European cities, including Warsaw and Stockholm. The bank has moved more of its workforce in recent years out of financial hubs and into lower-cost cities. The firm said in January 2020 that about one-third of its staff were based in what it called “strategic locations,” including Bengaluru, Salt Lake City, Dallas and Warsaw. It plans to boost that share to near 40%.

In the U.K., Goldman has its main office at Plumtree Court in London, which houses about 6,000 people, as well as a small customer service center in Milton Keynes for its Marcus consumer arm.

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