Goldman Partners Take Home Three Times MD Salary

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Basic pay for a Goldman Sachs partner managing director, the firm's highest level of executive, stands at $600,000, nearly three times the average pay of a standard managing director at the bank or at any of its main rivals.

The bank revealed the basic salary payment when it included an employment agreement for managing directors who participated in the bank's 1999 initial public offering in a regulatory filing last week.

Partner managing directors at the bank share approximately 15 percent of the annual bonus pool.

Last year the bank reported record profits of $9.3 billion and set aside $16.5 billion for salaries, bonuses and benefits for employees. The 15 percent earmarked for the 287 partner managing directors means each took home an average compensation of $8.6 million.

The bank named 115 new partner managing directors in October, but they were not eligible for a top level share of the bonus pool last year. Every two years Goldman names approximately 100 new partners as a link with its past as a private partnership.

A U.S. headhunter said Greenhill, the boutique investment bank, pays managing directors a basic salary of $600,000, but the average managing director salary among the largest investment banks is between $200,000 and $250,000.

A compensation consultant said investment banks have been paying between $250,000 and $300,000 to managing directors for the last 15 years.

The average bonus awarded to a securities industry employee last year was $137,580, according to a report from the office of New York State Comptroller. The figure is almost two and a half times the average yearly salary of a person outside New York's financial industry.

Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive and chairman of Goldman Sachs, received the largest bonus paid to the head of a Wall Street bank. His $53.4 million compensation last year included a cash bonus of $27.3 million, restricted shares valued at $15.7 million and options valued at $10.5 million.