The Wall Street Journal’s Liz Rappaport reported that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted the base salary of its executives and partners for the first time since the securities firm went public in 1999, tripling Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein’s salary to $2 million.
The move, disclosed in a securities filing late Friday, is the latest sign of how Wall Street’s pay culture is moving away from bonuses criticized for fueling reckless risk-taking that contributed to big losses during the financial crisis. Goldman’s salary increases, which affect all 470 partners out of the company’s 36,500 employees, follow similar announcements by Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley.
Regulators and lawmakers are pushing Wall Street firms to dole out higher salaries and smaller bonuses. Some regulators contend that doing so will encourage employees to focus on longer-term performance.
Goldman also disclosed the restricted-stock awards made as bonuses to numerous top executives for 2010. Mr. Blankfein, who also is Goldman’s chairman, got $12.6 million, or 78,111 shares based on the company’s stock price Wednesday, according to a separate filing Friday. The restricted-stock award is 40% higher than his $9 million bonus for 2009.
The restricted shares will vest over three years, and Mr. Blankfein and other Goldman executives can’t sell or transfer their shares until 2016.