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Goldman Sachs To Become First Wall St Bank To Establish Regional Headquarters In Riyadh
Goldman Sachs To Become First Wall St Bank To Establish Regional Headquarters In Riyadh

Goldman Sachs is set to become the 1st Wall Street bank to establish its regional headquarters in Riyadh

The move follows Saudi Arabia’s new law requiring companies with state contracts to have a regional headquarters in the Kingdom with a minimum of 15 employees. 

Saudi Arabia is offering significant tax incentives, including a 30-year corporate income tax exception to attract foreign companies to set up regional HQs in Riyadh.  

The kingdom has already exceeded its goal of 160 HQs by 2030, with over 180 multinational companies setting up regional headquarters in the Kingdom.

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Goldman Sachs’ Strategic Expansion

Goldman Sachs’ decision to establish its regional headquarters in Riyadh underscores its strategic ambitions to solidify its presence across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. 

With a foothold in the Kingdom, the investment banking titan can better navigate the region’s dynamic economic landscape, capitalizing on emerging opportunities and solidifying its position as a leading financial services provider.

Streamlining Regional Operations

Image Credit Victor J Blue

By centralizing its regional operations in Riyadh, Goldman Sachs aims to enhance coordination, oversight, and strategic alignment across its branches, subsidiaries, and affiliates operating throughout the MENA region. 

This centralized command center will facilitate seamless communication, efficient decision-making, and the implementation of unified strategies tailored to the region’s unique market dynamics.

The Kingdom’s Visionary Roadmap

Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 reform agenda, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has set the stage for this groundbreaking development. 

As part of its diversification strategy to reduce reliance on oil revenues, the Kingdom has The Regional Headquarters (RHQ) Program that has implemented regulatory changes that mandate foreign corporations with government contracts to establish regional headquarters within its borders.

RHQ Program Incentives

Image Credit Invest Saudi

Saudi Arabia has implemented a comprehensive package of incentives tailored to the RHQ Program to incentivize foreign investment and attract multinational corporations. 

Notably, participating companies are granted a 30-year exemption from corporate income tax and withholding tax, a substantial enticement for businesses seeking long-term fiscal advantages.

Furthermore, the program offers a range of additional benefits, including:

  • Exemption from Saudization percentage requirements for a decade, allowing greater flexibility in workforce composition.
  • Streamlined visa processes, with an automatic allocation of 250 work visas from the outset and the ability to secure visas for professions typically restricted to Saudi nationals.
  • Preferential treatment and discounted rates for MIZA’s end-to-end services, facilitating seamless business operations.
  • Extension of residency age for male dependents of RHQ employees to 25 years, promoting family-friendly policies.
  • Eligibility for Premium Residency for three executives, enhancing the overall living experience.
Image Credit Adobe

This bold move has exceeded the Kingdom’s initial targets, with over 180 multinational corporations, including Adobe, Rothschild & Co, Boeing, Knight Frank, IHG Hotels & Resorts, JLL, and Northern Trust Corp., committing to establishing their regional bases in Riyadh by November 2023.

Regulatory Compliance and Governance

Adhering to Saudi Arabia’s regulatory framework, Goldman Sachs’ regional headquarters will operate either as a registered branch of the parent company or as a locally incorporated subsidiary. 

This strategic decision ensures local laws and regulations compliance while facilitating seamless integration into the Kingdom’s business ecosystem.

Gaining Competitive Advantage

Image Credit Andrew Kelly

Establishing a regional headquarters in Riyadh grants Goldman Sachs a competitive edge over its rivals in the financial services sector. 

By embedding itself within the Kingdom’s rapidly evolving business landscape, the firm can leverage its proximity to key decision-makers, gain invaluable insights into local market trends, and foster stronger relationships with stakeholders across the region.

Expanding Reach and Market

With a well-established regional headquarters in Riyadh, Goldman Sachs can leverage its enhanced presence to deepen its market penetration across the MENA region. 

The firm’s extensive product offerings, ranging from investment banking services to asset management solutions, can be tailored to cater to clients’ unique needs across diverse sectors and geographies.

Embracing ESG Principles

Image Credit CoStar

As a global leader in the financial services industry, Goldman Sachs is well-positioned to champion sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles within its regional operations. 

By aligning its strategies with the Kingdom’s ambitious sustainability goals, the firm can contribute to developing a greener, more resilient, and socially responsible financial ecosystem.

Driving Transformative Change

Image Credit Vision 2030

Goldman Sachs’ decision to establish its regional headquarters in Riyadh marks a significant milestone in its global expansion strategy. 

As the first Wall Street bank to establish a regional hub in Saudi Arabia, Goldman Sachs has positioned itself as a catalyst for transformative change, setting the stage for a new era of financial services excellence in the MENA region.

More Companies with Regional Headquarters in Riyadh 

Adobe

Image Credit Adobe

Adobe, a multinational software company based in the United States, plans to open a new regional headquarters in Riyadh after receiving approval from the Saudi Ministry of Investment by early 2025.

 With more than two decades of experience in the region, Adobe aims to meet the increasing need for digital customer experiences and creative solutions in the Kingdom. 

This decision is in line with the ambitious Vision 2030 objectives of the Kingdom and will strengthen its presence in delivering exceptional digital experiences to its clients.

Rothschild & Co

Image Credit Rothschild Co

Rothschild & Co, one of the oldest banks globally,  has recently announced to establish its new regional headquarters in the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Under the guidance of Managing Director Nasser Al Issa, the office is poised to provide personalized advisory services encompassing Mergers & Acquisitions, Debt Advisory & Restructuring, and Equity Markets Solutions.

This strategic initiative underscores Rothschild & Co.’s dedication to fostering the growth of Saudi Arabia, amplifying its local footprint to address the dynamic requirements of a burgeoning, high-value clientele.

Boeing

Image Credit Boeing

Boeing has officially announced the establishment of its new Regional Headquarters for the Middle East in Riyadh.

This decision underscores Boeing’s dedication to the prosperous Saudi aviation market, which was made after a substantial order placed last year by Saudi Arabia’s national carriers for 121 787-Dreamliners.

This strategic step is in communion with the upcoming introduction of Riyadh Air in 2025. It aligns with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 objectives, which aim to invest $100 in the aviation sector.

Knight Frank

Image Credit Knight Frank

Knight Frank, a renowned international real estate advisory firm, has inaugurated its Saudi office in Laysen Valley, Riyadh. This partnership marks a significant stride towards improving public parks and urban spaces, focusing on establishing sustainable and attractive environments.

The decision by these organizations to establish regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia positions the Kingdom as a rapidly emerging global commercial hub.

IHG Hotels & Resorts

Image Credit InterContinental Hotels Group

IHG Hotels & Resorts has opened its headquarters in Riyadh, marking a notable milestone in its expansion strategy in Saudi Arabia. 

The headquarters will oversee the operations of 40 existing hotels and the development of 32 additional ones in the kingdom, reflecting a substantial growth trajectory with half of the Middle East development focused on Saudi Arabia.

In alignment with the Kingdom’s Saudization objectives, IHG is dedicated to fostering local employment. Presently, the company has a workforce comprising 1,700 Saudi nationals, constituting 44% of its total workforce in the Kingdom. 

IHG has ambitious plans to bolster this number to 6,000 by the year 2030, reinforcing its commitment to contributing to the local economy and community.

JLL

Image Credit JLL

JLL, an esteemed International Real Estate Consultancy Firm, has inaugurated its regional headquarters at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh. The primary aim is to enhance the country’s real estate sector, focusing on technology and sustainability. 

The strategic relocation to KAFD, recognized as the largest LEED for Neighbourhood Development (LEED-ND) Stage 2 platinum-certified project, positions JLL to make strides in achieving its sustainability goals. 

Northern Trust

Image Credit Backyard Production

Northern Trust Corp., a prominent global financial institution overseeing an extensive $1.3 trillion in assets under management, has established its Middle East headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

This strategic move signifies Northern Trust’s explicit support for Saudi Arabia’s endeavors in economic diversification.

Keep Reading: Rothschild & Co Expands Its Middle East Reach with the Launch of its New Riyadh Office

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