Goldman Sachs’ European staff brought in profit of $2.8bn last year, an increase of 37% as revenues across investment banking and sales and trading surged through the Covid-19 pandemic.
The US investment bank posted revenue of $10bn for Goldman Sachs International, which covers key units in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to accounts posted on the UK’s Companies House on 12 May. This is a 27% increase on the same period last year, and compares with a 22% gain across the organisation in 2020.
Goldman’s compensation costs globally increased to a 10-year high in 2020 on the back of record performance in investment banking and a big uptick in trading revenues. Within its Emea unit, compensation costs rose by 18% to $2.8bn, while employee numbers dropped slightly to 4,115.
On an average pay-per-head basis, this means that Goldman Sachs paid around $686,500 to its employees in Emea, compared to an average payout of $328,600 each globally.
While Goldman has been expanding into new business lines including transaction banking and credit cards, its operations in Emea remain primarily rooted in its traditional sales and trading and investment banking units.
The sharpest increase at Goldman Sachs International within its investment banking advisory unit, where revenues increased by 46% to $2.2bn last year. Its fixed income unit, which has enjoyed a huge boom throughout the Covid-19 crisis was up by 39% to $3.9bn.
Goldman’s risk-taking increased during the pandemic, with average daily value at risk on the trading floor increasing by $22m last year to $54m, the accounts show, as volatility rocked markets and investment banks enjoyed a boom in trading revenues.
The US bank has outlined plans on how it will bring employees back to its operations in the UK after a prolonged period of working from home during the pandemic. In a memo on 4 May, Goldman said that staff should “make plans to be in a position to return to the office” by 21 June as the UK government lifts lockdown restrictions.
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