Few Hundred Goldmanites Bidding Adieu, Auf Wiedersehen To London

Lloyd & co. aren't betting on Theresa May's promise that Britain's best days are to come.
Ford Madox Brown, "The Last of England" [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ford Madox Brown, "The Last of England" [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

British Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that the U.K. will commit slow-motion economic suicide beginning in just over a week. On March 29, she’ll trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to open the two-year window in which to hammer out the precise divorce terms with her soon-to-be-former European partners.

Goldman Sachs has an idea of just what those terms are likely to be: in a word, hard. So it, and its newly-minted London chief, are going to go ahead and act on that suspicion.

"We are going to start to execute on those contingency plans," Richard Gnodde, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs International, the European arm of the Wall Street bank, told CNBC on Tuesday.

"For this first period, this is really the period as we put in place contingency plans, this is in the hundreds of people as opposed to anything greater than that," he said.

Shave one floor off that new office on Farringdon Street, opening just in time for Brexit to become a breality, by which those hundreds will be safely ensconced in their new homes, awaiting their thousands of colleagues.

Gnodde said the bank, which employs 6,000 staff in the capital, would take extra office space in Frankfurt and Paris….

“Over the next 18 months or so we are going to upgrade those facilities, we’ll be taking extra space in a number of them and be increasing our headcount and infrastructure around those facilities,” said Gnodde.

To those Goldmanites muttering, “Scheiße,” under their breath right now, we feel you. But it could be worse, even than Frankfurt.

Goldman Sachs and a trio of hedge funds have wasted no time in ploughing money back into Iceland by acquiring a stake in one of the country’s banks, less than a week after the Nordic island lifted capital controls that dated from the financial crisis….

Arion is still aiming to list its shares, perhaps in the coming weeks, with Goldman and the hedge funds given an option to increase their holdings by an extra 22 per cent before then.

Goldman to move hundreds of staff from London pre-Brexit: Europe CEO [Reuters]
Goldman Sachs to move hundreds of staff out of London due to Brexit [Guardian]
U.K. to Trigger Brexit March 29, Starting Two Years of Talks [Bloomberg]
Goldman Sachs and hedge funds take stake in Iceland’s Arion Bank [FT]