Lower pay at Goldman Sachs' still-tiny office in Frankfurt

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Goldman Sachs has just released the 2017 results for its business in Germany. For anyone hoping to move to the Frankfurt office post-Brexit and carry on much the same as in London, it's a bit of a wake-up call. Goldman Sachs' Frankfurt office is certainly growing, but last year it was still tiny. It also paid its average employee quite a lot less than the Goldman Sachs office in London.

While Goldman Sachs' London office employed 4,688 people last year and paid them an average of  $523k (£399k), Goldman Sachs' Frankfurt office ended 2017 with just 136 people and paid them an average of $459k (€395k) - 12% less.

The chart below helps to explain why.

While Goldman Sachs' London office had nearly 1,500 people working in highly paid "institutional securities" (sales and trading) jobs in 2017, Goldman Sachs' Frankfurt office was focused only on investment banking and investment management and support functions last year. As the chart shows, there were no salespeople and traders actually employed by the German entity at all last year - although up to 60 salespeople and traders have already been seconded across from Goldman Sachs International in London.

This could change. Although Goldman Sachs reportedly plans to fill all but a floor of its new office in London's Farringdon, it's also leased new space at its Frankfurt office and is reportedly looking to expand its Frankfurt headcount to 400 people as part of a broader strategy to boost its presence across Europe. 

Following the recent success of Paris at winning staff from Frankfurt, and after Richard Gnodde, head of Goldman Sachs International's, declaration that Goldman plans to move "tens" of bankers to the French capital this summer, Goldman's latest results also contain some good news for the German city. - It seems that Goldman Sachs plans to convert its German entity into a Societas Europaea (a European public company) and to merge it with its French subsidiary Goldman Sachs Gestion SA. The move is expected to make Frankfurt the seat of Goldman's operations in Europe and is likely to mean that the offices in other member states will likely be run as branches of the new entity.

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