Goldman Sachs is looking to cash in on what it sees as $US500 million opportunity in four unlikely North American destinations.
The financial services giant is set to amp up the presence of its marquee investment banking business in Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, and Toronto, according to a presentation delivered Tuesday by the firm’s co-chief operating officer and president, Harvey Schwartz, at the Barclays Financial Services Conference.
The bank is focused on broadening “relationships with public and private companies” in areas where the firm has a low presence. Many of these opportunities are outside the traditional financial epicenters of New York and San Francisco.
The bank thinks the strategy, coupled with using technology to “efficiently scale the delivery of our products and services,” represents a $US500 million revenue opportunity.
Financial services firms have been moving jobs to low-cost cities at a clip as a means to improve their bottom line. But the majority of those jobs have come from the back office. They’re not client-facing positions such as the ones found in investment banking.
Still, Goldman Sachs has been expanding its network of bankers outside of New York in order to shore up business with clients outside the New York metro-area and save money on bankers’ salaries (and flying bankers in and out of New York). As reported by the Wall Street Journal’s Liz Hoffman, the bank shifted a number of partners to Dallas and Atlanta in 2016.
Goldman Sachs isn’t the only bank employing this strategy. JPMorgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have also moved staff to regional centres in the US. The potential rewards are significant: Middle-market companies in the US and Canada paid $US8.2 billion in deal fees in 2015, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch presentation.
That’s more than the fees netted in most of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America combined.
“This is a key focus for us as we have developed the other areas of our investment bank,” Christian Meissner, the head of global corporate and investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told Business Insider last year. “Relatively speaking, this represents a greater opportunity than some traditional avenues of growth.”
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