After a miserable first quarter just about everywhere (except maybe Credit Suisse's sales and trading business), investment banks in London are said to be eyeing job cuts. Financial News reports today that Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Citigroup have been quietly reducing London headcount and that others are drafting in the consultants in preparation for layoffs to come. While all of this is underway, however, some banks are also putting the finishing touches to nice new offices in the City.
One of those with a fancy place in the wings is Goldman Sachs, whose new 1.1m square foot office at Plumtree Court in London's Farringdon will be ready for occupation later this summer. Following reports about a 'shaft of light' coming down through the middle of the building and illuminating the trading floor, Goldman last month tweeted the image below of the glistening new reality to come.
More recently, the firm has also been drawing attention to the environmental credentials of its new building, which it says will cut CO2 emissions by 25%, reduce water use by 40% and harvest rainwater to irrigate a roofgarden, and afford employees views to St. Paul's Cathedral.
Goldman's sustainability report - released last week - says the firm earned an A (the top mark) for its climate change score, and that although it released 165,051 tonnes of carbon in 2018 these were entirely offset using "verified" offset schemes. The firm can clearly give itself a pat on the back - although climate protestors (one of whom glued her breasts to the pavement outside the firm's offices last week) objecting to the bank's role in funding polluting companies may not be that easily appeased.
Goldman isn't the only bank preparing to occupy new premises in London this summer. Jefferies is also getting ready to move to 100 Bishopsgate along with RBC. Jefferies insiders say the bank has begun putting up posters about the imminent move, which will see it occupying five floors instead of the current four at Upper Thames Street, and could therefore lead to further growth. 100 Bishopsgate has few of the eco-flourishes of Plumtree court, but it will also be harvesting rainwater, creating solar energy and providing a small space for birdlife and butterflies in some trees outside.
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