It Pays to Be Number Two at Goldman

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Top execs at Goldman Sachs have been rewarded for the firm’s impressive fourth quarter, with nearly $100 million in bonus awards doled out to top staff. Unlike most any other corporation on the planet, the top dog didn’t take home the blue ribbon.

Vice Chairman Michael Sherwood, co-head of Goldman's international division, was rewarded with the highest year-end bonus of the dozen executives. He received 109,461 restricted shares, worth $15.4 million as of Friday’s closing price, according to filings obtained by Reuters.

Sherwood’s boss, Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, took home the second biggest reward, receiving 94,320 shares worth around $13.3 million. Other winners were Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn, a likely candidate to succeed Blankfein, if he ever retires, and outgoing Chief Financial Officer David Viniar. Each received around $12 million worth of restricted shares, which typically can’t be sold for at least five years, according to Reuters.

Goldman’s leadership group may receive some dirty looks from staffers on Monday considering the dispersal of wealth isn’t all that equitable. Goldman employees earned, on average, $399,506 in 2012, up from $367,057 in 2011. But their overall share of the revenue was just 37.9%, down from 42.4% in 2011, despite the more impressive year.

Clearly, it pays to be on top. Or in this case, one rung down.

The Three Hottest Jobs in Finance Are…(eFinancialCareers)

Finance hiring isn’t booming, but that doesn’t mean no one is getting hired. For a certain select number of entry-level and experienced folks, there are positions available in finance specialties that are growing.

Morgan’s Cost-Cutting (eFinancialCareers)

Morgan Stanley intends to cut spending by an additional $1.6 billion through 2014 with plans to defer expansion and downsize offices in areas outside key locales such as New York, London and Hong Kong.

Bad Bonuses (Bloomberg)

Following a disappointing quarter, Citi reportedly cut bonuses in its investment bank by as much as 20%.

No Accomplice (NY Times)

Thomas Weisel, the banker behind admitted doper Lance Armstrong’s cycling team, has denied accusations that he helped support Armstrong through his years of cheating the sport. However, sources told Dealbook that Armstrong may implicate Weisel in an effort to end his lifetime ban from Olympic sports.

Getting Healthy (Bloomberg)

Just how healthy are French banks like BNP Paribas and Societe Generale, which are said to be quietly adding headcount in the U.S.? They’ve reportedly already begun repaying loans from the European Central Bank as the market has stabilized.

Going Dutch (Financial Times)

Barclays is reportedly considering financing the money to cover its Libor rate-fixing fine by trimming 2012 bonuses.

Buzz Around the Office

Slightly Underdressed (MSN)

A 42-year-old Russian train passenger who was trying to return to his seat following a smoke break opened the wrong door, tumbling outside into the minus-40-degree Siberian forest. He managed to make it the four miles to the next station wearing flip-flops and a t-shirt.

List of the Day: Reuniting

With the unpredictability of the job market, finding the need to ask a former employer for your job back is a real possibility. If you find yourself in that unenviable situation, here’s what to do.

  1. Put feelers out with old co-workers.
  2. Explain how you’ll help their bottom line.
  3. Keep the conversation professional.

(Source: AOL Jobs)