'We start with a significant European footprint'.
Goldman Sachs will shift jobs away from London while bulking up its European presence by "hundreds of people" as it executes on Brexit contingency plans, the chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs International told CNBC on Tuesday.
Questioned on whether the European expansion would reflect the moving of jobs out of London or the hiring of new personnel on the continent, Richard Gnodde confirmed that the plans would reflect two strategies.
"It'll be a combination of things. We'll hire people inside of Europe itself and there will be some movement," he clarified, explaining that the upcoming period will see investment in infrastructure, people, systems and technology. Goldman Sachs also confirmed that this movement away from London would not necessarily result in a net reduction of workers in the U.K.
"For this first period, this is really the period where we put in place these contingency plans, this in the hundreds of people," said Gnodde, when asked to put numbers to anticipated headcount increases on the continent.
Speaking exclusively to CNBC at the Goldman Sachs Disruptive Technology Conference in London, Gnodde said that against the backdrop of discussions over Britain's exit from the European Union (EU), which are due to kick off next week, the apparent lack of a transition process or period for financial services firms means that contingency plans are being relied upon.
"Whatever the outcome, London will remain for us a very significant regional hub and a significant global hub," acknowledged the senior banker, while noting that operations in several European cities will be expanded as part of the contingency plans being actioned.
"We start with a significant European footprint, we are licensed with banks in Germany and France," began Gnodde, adding that over the next 18 months the bank would upgrade its European facilities and take extra space and headcount on the continent.
While emphasizing that a "business line by business line" analysis of the bank's upcoming changes had been undertaken, the Goldman Sachs veteran was also keen to point out that the contingency plans did not reflect the eventual layout of the firm once the parameters of the European financial services landscape were understood following Brexit.