$53.4M Goldman CEO Bonus Breaks Record: CEO Bonus by Numbers

Following its record breaking profits in 2006, Goldman Sachs breaks another record by paying its CEO Lloyd Blankfein $53.4 million in 2006 Bonus. It smashed the week long previous $40M bonus record held by John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley. 
  • Goldman also set the earlier record when it paid Henry Paulson $38.3 million in 2005. 
  • Other than Blankfein, 11 other senior Goldman executives as a group were granted more than $150 million in shares and stock options this year. 

The bonuses come after Goldman reported net profit jump of 70% to $9.4 billion on revenue of $37.67 billion this year. Goldman had set aside a total of $16.5 billion this year for salaries, bonuses and benefits. On average, this would translate to $622,000 per employee.

The five biggest U.S. securities firms -- Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos. -- are handing out about $36 billion of bonuses this year.

The trend in compensating executives has been to keep salaries level while increasing bonuses. In fact, the average base salary for the top executives increased only 43.5% from 1997 to 2006, while annual bonuses increased 283.2%, according to the November 2006 Executive Compensation Index figures released by ERI Economic Research Institute and CareerJournal.com

These findings are calculated from year-to-date reporting for 2006 compared to the year-to-date in 2005.

Other ERI Findings on Executive Compensation:

  • The highest-paid executives in America received a 48.2% increase in their average annual cash bonus and were paid 31.2% more total cash compensation. 
  • Base Salaries: For the highest paid executives, the average base salary increased only 0.31% $1,273,978 compared to Year 2005 base salary levels of $1,277,944. 
  • Annual Bonus: For the highest paid executives, the average annual cash bonus increased 48.2% to $3,521,615, compared to prior Year 2005 cash bonus levels of $2,375,615. 
  • Total Cash Compensation: For the highest paid executives, the average total cash compensation (base + bonus) rose 31.2% to $4,795,096 compared to Year 2005 total cash compensation of $3,653,559. 

Since 1997, the Total Cash Compensation for the highest paid executives has increased 105.1% while the Average of Corporate Revenues has increased 116.4%. 

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