Goldman Is Poised to Enter Japan Wealth Management Business

(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to enter the wealth management business in Japan, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The U.S. bank will target high net worth individuals through its asset management unit, the person said, asking not to be identified because the plans are private. It has begun hiring private bankers and is seeking assets under management of 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) over the next five to 10 years, the person said.

Under Chief Executive Officer David Solomon, Goldman Sachs is increasing its focus on wealth management and consumer banking to reduce reliance on trading revenue. Japan offers opportunities given that it has the third-highest number of millionaires in the world, trailing only the U.S. and China, according to Credit Suisse Group AG’s 2019 Global Wealth Report.

Still, Japan has been a tough market for foreign banks, with HSBC Holdings Plc and Citigroup Inc. among those to have withdrawn from the business of serving affluent Japanese in recent years. UBS Group AG last year agreed to merge its Japanese wealth operation into a majority-owned joint venture with Tokyo-based Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc.

Goldman’s Japan wealth business will focus on individual clients with at least 10 billion yen in assets, the Nikkei newspaper reported earlier. With $79.4 billion of assets under management, Goldman was ranked ninth among wealth managers in Asia excluding onshore China in 2018, according to Asian Private Banker.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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