Underscoring Wall Street's shifting focus on emerging markets and the increase in opportunities available for bankers abroad, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein told investors that in the coming years the bank will be spending a significant amount of resources in Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Banking and Financial Services Conference, Blankfein said business in the so-called BRICs will be a "preoccupation for [Goldman] for the next generation."
Lloyd's statement of strategy followed on the handcrafted, Italian-leather heels of a similar announcement by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.
In a recent Bloomberg Markets cover story, Dimon noted that JPMorgan is keen to focus on markets south of the border as well as overseas, due in large part to the soft deal market in North America and the estimated $1 billion in losses JPMorgan will incur due to Dodd-Frank regulations curtailing derivatives trading losses. Currently, international business accounts for only 25 percent of JPMorgan's total revenue but more than 60 percent of its net income.
Reporting on Blankfein's speech this morning, Dow Jones noted that Lloyd laid out this stat: since 2006, just 12 percent of Goldman's revenue had come from growth markets. Which means the bank everyone loves to hate as of late will either be shifting a significant number of existing employees overseas or hiring a decent amount of new employees to exploit the opportunities in the BRICs.
One big bank that's already begun to embrace the BRICs and other emerging markets is Citigroup: more than half of Citi's revenue now comes from overseas business, and the firm is still ramping up its international efforts.
Recently (as FN), the bank "launched an advertising campaign in newspapers across Europe, the US and the emerging markets, appealing for 'the brightest and best' to apply for positions across its banking businesses in Europe 'at all levels from graduates to managing directors.'" In addition, as of last week, there were about 500 jobs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa advertised on the Citi web site.
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