Goldman Takes a Small Step in London

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Goldman Sachs is expanding the office that supports its senior executives in London. Its a sign that European and emerging markets are demanding - and will receive - increased attention from the highest levels of investment banking.

According to the Financial Times, Goldman's top U.S. executives will now have administrative support functions in London that mirror those available in New York. Senior European executives will gain increased support to ensure they're able to respond quickly to the needs of clients, regulators and employees.

The step by Goldman, while far from earth-shaking, is another sign of a realignment that's going on as investment banks do more business in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The FT cites Dealogic figures as showing 305 initial public offerings worth $83.5 billion have taken place in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo this year, compared to 147 worth $33.3 billion on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

While no one is saying New York will be anything but a global financial center, some believe London is working its way toward equal prominence. "As emerging markets become more and more important it plays to London's strengths," Jonathan Chenevix-Trench, chairman of Morgan Stanley International, told the FT.