Goldman Sachs CEO gets $16.2 million pay package
By Lauren Tara LaCapra
(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein's compensation increased 14.5 percent to $16.2 million in 2011 despite a sharp decline in profits and share price during the year, leaving the bank open to more attacks on its pay policies.
Blankfein's pay boost includes stock awards from previous years that vested in 2011, and therefore does not reflect the amount that Goldman's board awarded him strictly for the company's performance last year.
Goldman offered another figure, $12 million, as the amount Blankfein received for his performance last year. That number reflects a 35.5 percent decline from 2010, when Blankfein received $18.6 million in performance pay.
The $16.2 million figure comes from a formula the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires companies to use when reporting pay packages in proxy filings, where Goldman detailed Blankfein's compensation on Friday.
Both the SEC's formula and Goldman's formula include a $2 million salary and a $3 million cash bonus. The SEC formula also reflects $454,332 Blankfein received last year in benefits and perks, such as life insurance and a car and driver.
Whichever multimillion-dollar figure is used, Blankfein's pay package is likely to get attention both outside and inside Wall Street's most prominent investment bank, where thousands of traders, bankers and support staff were fired last year due to weak performance.
"Whether it's $12 million or $16 million, it's excessive," said Jack Ucciferri, research and advocacy director at Harrington Investments Inc, a Goldman shareholder that has a proposal in Goldman's proxy that, if passed, would require top executives to retain 75 percent of their stock holdings for at least three years after leaving the bank.
Goldman earned a $2.5 billion profit during 2011, down from $3.6 billion in 2010, and its share price fell 46 percent last year, amid a slowdown in investment banking deals and volatile trading conditions. Continued...