Goldman Sachs chooses Dublin as post-Brexit home

JPMorgan and Barclays expanding in Irish capital, but Frankfurt remains banks’ favourite

Goldman Sachs: the Wall   Street group is expected to move about 20 people to Dublin after Britain leaves the EU. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Goldman Sachs: the Wall Street group is expected to move about 20 people to Dublin after Britain leaves the EU. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters


Goldman Sachs has picked Dublin as the post-Brexit home for its European asset management business and will move about 20 people to the Irish capital, according to two people familiar with the bank’s plans. 

The Wall Street group has already signalled its intention to create hubs for its investment bank in Frankfurt and Paris to serve EU clients once the UK leaves the bloc in April 2019.

Goldman Sachs is also moving investment banking and sales people to the continent so that they will be closer to their clients, a practice that started before Brexit.

Dublin was once seen as a major destination for international banks looking for a new access point to the EU after Brexit, but Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the only major bank to have chosen the Irish capital as its new EU base. 

Goldman Sachs and the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) both declined to comment on the US bank’s asset management plans. The bank currently serves Ireland using the EU passport of its London business, and would probably need to update that after Brexit.

JPMorgan is expanding its Irish business after Brexit, and paid €125 million for a new building in Dublin. However, its main legal entities – treasury services and its investment bank – will be in Luxembourg and Frankfurt respectively. 

Barclays is also expanding its Dublin presence, and insurers including Beazley and Chaucer have picked the city as their post-Brexit base.

New EU headquarters

Frankfurt remains the favourite of the investment banks and will be home to the new EU headquarters of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Nomura, UBS and Morgan Stanley. JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank are also expanding in the city.

But even Frankfurt and other European financial centres may not get the big job numbers they had been anticipating in the wake of the UK’s move to quit the EU. Germany’s financial capital once said it expected 10,000 new jobs to come to the city, but research by the Financial Times recently found that London’s 15 biggest international banks will together move just 4,600 jobs away from the UK capital in the immediate aftermath of Brexit. 

The CBI has been criticised by some in the financial services industry for a lack of help as they have looked to bring major parts of their investment banks to the Irish capital. That prompted Michael D’Arcy, Minister of State with responsibility for financial services and insurance, to write to the bank to criticise its “unhelpful attitude” in dealing with Brexit-related investment. 

The CBI has repeatedly defended its approach and said it was “operating to European norms”. But some have argued that the scars of the financial crisis – when the collapse of the banking system pushed Ireland into a €67.5-billion EU-IMF bailout – have made the CBI reluctant to take on the risks of supervising big foreign banks. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017