Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plans to start offering wealth management services in Japan, a person with knowledge of the matter has said.
The U.S. bank will target high net worth individuals through its asset management unit, the person said, asking not to be identified because the plans are private. It has already started hiring private bankers and is seeking to manage assets of ¥1 trillion ($9 billion) over the next five to 10 years, the person said.
Under Chief Executive Officer David Solomon, Goldman Sachs is increasing its focus on wealth management and consumer banking to reduce reliance on trading revenue. Japan is believed to offer opportunities given that it has the third-highest number of millionaires in the world, trailing only the U.S. and China, according to Credit Suisse Group AG’s 2019 Global Wealth Report.
Still, Japan has been a tough market for foreign banks, with HSBC Holdings PLC and Citigroup Inc. among those that have withdrawn from the business of serving affluent Japanese customers in recent years. UBS Group AG last year agreed to merge its Japanese wealth operation into a majority-owned joint venture with Tokyo-based Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc.
Goldman’s Japan wealth business will focus on individual clients with at least ¥10 billion in assets, according to a report in the Nikkei newspaper.
With $79.4 billion of assets under management, Goldman was ranked ninth among wealth managers in Asia excluding onshore China in 2018, according to Asian Private Banker.
In the U.S., Goldman is also in discussions with Amazon.com Inc. to offer small-business loans through the technology giant’s platform, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.