Bloomberg: Goldman Plots Florida Base for Asset Management in a Blow to New York - Garden State Initiative

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Bloomberg: Goldman Plots Florida Base for Asset Management in a Blow to New York

December 7, 2020

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By Sridhar Natarajan

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is weighing plans for a new Florida hub to house one of its key divisions, in another potential blow to New York’s stature as the de facto home of the U.S. financial industry.

Executives have been scouting office locations in South Florida, speaking with local officials and exploring tax advantages as they consider creating a base there for its asset management arm, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The bank’s success in operating remotely during the pandemic has persuaded members of the leadership team that they can move more roles out of the New York area to save money.

Goldman may yet decide against centering asset management in Florida, where it would join a growing list of firms seeking tax and lifestyle advantages. It also may opt for another destination like Dallas, where it has been accelerating its expansion, the people said.

The deliberations at the Wall Street icon, often a trendsetter for the industry, adds to the cloud over New York’s future. As restaurants and stores fight to survive, the city is trying to stem the flight of white collar jobs to states with lax tax regimes and lower costs of living.

Manhattan now has the most office space available since the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. This time, the trend began even before the pandemic struck, with AllianceBernstein Holding LP shaking up city boosters in 2018 with plans to move its headquarters to Nashville.

Inside Goldman, sentimental attachment to the city where it rose to prominence is taking a back seat to the company’s ambitious target unveiled early this year to cut $1.3 billion in costs, in part by shifting employees to cheaper locales. It’s unclear how many people could eventually go to Florida. In the last decade, Goldman has incrementally expanded offices in places like Dallas and Salt Lake City to thousands of jobs in an effort to trim expenses. The virus has cemented its resolve to accelerate that shift.

Read the full report here.