Mon, Jan 21, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Goldman Sach’s CEO to be highest paid


Goldman Sachs Group Inc chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein’s bonus surged 90 percent, surpassing JPMorgan Chase & Co chief executive officer Jamie Dimon’s pay for the first time since Blankfein’s record-setting award for 2007.

Blankfein, 58, was granted US$13.3 million in restricted stock that comprises about 70 percent of his total bonus, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

On that basis, the total is about US$19 million, including US$5.7 million in cash, up from a US$10 million stock-and-cash award for 2011.

Blankfein, who is also the bank’s chairman, receives a US$2 million salary.

The total compensation package would be Blankfein’s highest since his US$68.5 million record in 2007, when Goldman Sachs’s earnings per share were 75 percent higher.

Dimon, 56, who leads the biggest US bank by assets, had his pay slashed in half to US$11.5 million because of a trading loss even as JPMorgan reported a third year of record profit.

“In the world of CEOs, it’s a major statement when you’re the highest paid,” said Jeanne Branthover, head of the financial-services practice at Boyden Global Executive Search Ltd, a New York-based recruiting firm.

“They are giving a message that, ‘We’re Goldman. We continue to do well,’” Branthover said.

Dimon’s pay cut was announced on Wednesday when the bank issued a 129-page report detailing management lapses behind the firm’s biggest-ever trading losses.

“Mr. Dimon bears ultimate responsibility for the failures that led to the losses,” JPMorgan said in the report.

Dimon, who is also chairman of the New York-based company, “has accepted responsibility.”

The latest stock bonus was also the first time in five years that Blankfein was awarded more than senior deputies, including president Gary Cohn, 52, and chief financial officer David Viniar, 57, who is retiring this month after 32 years at the firm.

The biggest restricted-stock award was to Michael Sherwood, 47, a London-based vice chairman. He was awarded 109,461 restricted shares, worth US$15.4 million.

While his cash bonus was not disclosed, it will probably be smaller than other executives’ because of European regulations that limit cash payouts, according to the person familiar with the matter.

Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest US bank by assets, reported its first revenue gain in three years, as the New York-based firm’s investments almost tripled in value and investment banking fees climbed.

The stock rose 41 percent last year, the first annual increase since doubling in 2009.

Blankfein also boosted profit by paring the portion of revenue paid to employees to 38 percent from 42 percent.

Blankfein received 94,320 restricted shares worth US$13.3 million at the US$141.01 closing price on Thursday, according to a filing.

His cash bonus will not be disclosed until the bank issues its annual proxy statement, which is typically in April.

He was awarded US$7 million in stock and US$3 million in cash for 2011.

Goldman Sachs disclosed restricted-stock awards for 11 other senior executives in filings.

Cash bonuses are not scheduled to be disclosed until the firm files its proxy statement.

Cohn and Viniar, who both get salaries of US$1.85 million, were each awarded 85,136 restricted shares, worth US$12 million at Thursday’s price.

Viniar will join the board of directors after he retires at the end of the month.

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