July 2, 2021

Goldman to move Tokyo headquarters, reaffirming office work

By ellen

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) – Goldman Sachs Group is preparing to move its Japan headquarters into a new tower being built in Tokyo as the Wall Street firm adapts to office life after the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States investment bank plans to relocate from the landmark Roppongi Hills complex owned by Mori Building into the developer’s tentatively named Toranomon Hills Station Tower some time after its completion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Construction work on the 49-storey building is scheduled to finish in July 2023, according to Mori’s website. It is part of the property giant’s four-tower Toranomon Hills Area project in a district just south of the Imperial Palace. A new subway station on the Hibiya line opened there last year.

The plans are in line with Goldman Sachs’s commitment to office life, a stance at odds with some of its rivals that are looking to pare space after the pandemic ushered in a wave of remote work. Chief executive David Solomon has been vocal in opposing work from home, calling it an “aberration”.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman declined to comment.

A spokesman for Mori Building said matters relating to tenants are confidential.

Goldman Sachs had 754 employees in Japan as at December. It has been a key tenant of the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills since the complex opened 18 years ago, even after reducing space as headcount fell. Toranomon Hills is about 3km away from Otemachi, the main financial district.

Tokyo office vacancies have soared amid the pandemic, putting pressure on rents. Vacancies climbed to an almost seven-year high of 5.9 per cent in May, according to real estate brokerage Miki Shoji.

Other US banks including Morgan Stanley have taken a similar stance to Goldman on work from home, while European lenders, including UBS Group, are introducing hybrid models. HSBC Holdings has committed to a 40 per cent reduction in office space in the long term. Tokyo-based Nomura Holdings is also considering trimming space and has announced plans to make flexible work permanent.