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Neate reports: "The payouts come despite a senior employee attacking it as 'morally bankrupt' and revealing that senior Goldman bankers describe clients as 'muppets.'"

Goldman Sach's CEO Lloyd Blankfein. (photo: AP)
Goldman Sach's CEO Lloyd Blankfein. (photo: AP)

Lloyd Blankfein's the World's Best Paid Banker

By Rupert Neate, Guardian UK

13 April 13


Goldman Sachs chief gets $13m in restricted shares and $5.7m cash bonus on top of his $2m annual salary.

oldman Sachs paid its chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, $21m last year - and granted him a further $5m in bonus shares in January.

The Wall Street bank handed Blankfein $13.3m (£8.7m) in restricted shares and a $5.7m cash bonus on top of his $2m annual salary last year.

His total 2012 pay was $9m more than in 2011, and the highest since the $68m he received in 2007, before the financial crisis struck.

The payout, disclosed in a filing with the US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), makes Blankfein, 58, the world's best paid banker.

On top of his annual pay Goldman granted him long-term incentive plan (LTIP) shares worth an additional $5m at today's share price. But he will have to meet performance targets in order to collect the full amount, and the value of the shares could go up or down.

Blankfein's top four lieutenants collected a total of $72m in annual pay, bonuses and share options last year.

Gary Cohn, president and chief operating officer, and David Viniar, chief finance officer, both received $19m, while Michael Evans and John Weinberg, both vice-chairmen, collected $17m each.

Cohn, Evans and Weinberg were also each granted LTIP shares worth $4m. But they will not be able to cash them in until at least December 2015.

Goldman paid its bankers an average of $400,000 last year, $30,000 more than in 2011. The total pay, bonuses and perks bill to its 32,400 staff came in at $13bn.

The payroll figures come after the bank, which was dubbed "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money" by Matt Taibbi in a Rolling Stone magazine article on the bank in 2010, reported a near-doubling of full year net profits to $7.5bn.

Goldman's compensation committee said the bank's bosses had "demonstrated exceptional leadership" and "performed extremely well throughout the year and made significant contributions to our firm's overall success".

It said Blankfein "continued to be a strong leader who demonstrated considerable commitment to our firm and our clients, as well as a deep and nuanced understanding of the strategic aspects of all our major businesses".

The bank pointed out the pay was partly based on a "360 review process evaluation", in which colleagues in all ranks of the business rate each others performance.

The payouts come despite a senior employee attacking it as "morally bankrupt" and revealing that senior Goldman bankers describe clients as "muppets".

Greg Smith, who was based in London, published his savage resignation letter from the bank in the New York Times. your social media marketing partner
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