Like Goldman Sachs, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and others, J.P. Morgan is expected to shift some trading staff to Frankfurt in preparation for life after Brexit. In November, it rented office space to house up to 200 staff in the new TanusTurm skyscraper there. To accompany this expansion, J.P.M has quietly designed a website proclaiming Frankfurt’s charms. Key among them is sausage.
J.P. Morgan isn’t new to Frankfurt. The bank has been in Germany for over 650 years and already employs over 450 people there. The bank’s existing Frankfurt operations appear, however, restricted to investment banking and asset management staff. If J.P.M wants to attract new trading talent to Frankfurt it may need to raise its game.
This could be a challenge. As Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein noted in November, senior American bankers in particular have an aversion to Frankfurt. For this reason, Blankfein said Goldman is opening new European offices in Frankfurt and Paris.
J.P. Morgan’s site pitches Frankfurt as an attractive and cosmopolitan place to be. It notes that the city is well-connected (‘You can fly to over 260 destinations in over 110 countries from Frankfurt airport”) and is host to book and auto fairs. It relies heavily, however, on photographic evidence of Frankfurt’s charms: under “lifestyle,” there’s nothing but a photograph of Frankfurt’s old town; under “famous for,” there’s a photo of the financial district; and under “food and drink,” there’s a photo of several sausages.
Whether this will cut it with skeptical traders and U.S, bankers remains to be seen. After all, while Frankfurt has sausage, Paris has a reputation for being the culinary capital of the world.
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