Friday, March 7, 2008

Goldman CEO Gets $54M in Compensation

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein did better than any of his colleagues in 2007, a year in which the world's largest investment bank profited despite the subprime market collapse.

Blankfein, the highest-paid CEO among the investment banks, received compensation valued at $54 million.

He drew $600,000 in salary plus a performance-related bonus of $27 million, according to documents filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also received restricted stock and stock options valued at $26 million on the day they were granted.

Other compensation Goldman Sachs awarded Blankfein _ $384,157 in 2007 _ includes a car and driver and security.

The AP's total pay calculations include executives' salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.

The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Blankfein has come out of the credit crisis relatively unscathed so far compared to some colleagues at competing firms. Jimmy Cayne, the longtime leader of Bear Stearns Cos., was forced to give up the CEO title to remain chairman; while Merrill Lynch & Co. CEO Stanley O'Neal was ousted from the company.

Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack passed up his bonus after racking up steep write-downs in 2007, as did Cayne and other top Bear Stearns executives. Lehman Brothers Inc.'s Richard Fuld received compensation valued at $22.1 million in 2007.

Goldman Sachs was able to largely avoid the mortgage-losses that plagued its competitors, leading it to post record profits during the year. Goldman Sachs posted $3.17 billion in profit in its fourth quarter alone, far surpassing its peers.

Shares, which fell about 13 percent in fiscal 2007, rose $1.42 to $160.07 on Friday.

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