Goldman pays chief David Solomon $35m after record profits last year

Goldman Sachs doubled the pay of its chief executive, David Solomon, to $35m last year as the US bank reaped record profits during a Wall Street deal boom.

Solomon had earned $17.5m for 2020, $10m less than the previous year, after the bank’s board reduced the pay of senior executives in the wake of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad corruption scandal, in which Goldman admitted paying bribes to secure work raising money for the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.

In a securities filing on Friday, Goldman said Solomon received a base salary of $2m in 2021, unchanged from the previous year. His variable compensation was $33m, including a roughly $10m cash bonus and a $23.1m stock award linked to the performance of the bank.

In October, Goldman said it had granted performance-based stock worth $30m to Solomon and $20m in stock for group president John Waldron. Those awards would be paid out in October 2026.

Goldman this month reported a 2021 net profit of $21.2bn, more than double the level of the previous year and easily the largest in the bank’s history.

However, Goldman said its fourth-quarter profit fell 13 per cent year on year to $3.8bn as pay including bonuses jumped 31 per cent to $3.2bn.

In an interview with the Financial Times earlier this month, Solomon said: “There’s no question that inflationary pressures around compensation had an impact.”

Solomon’s 2021 pay was about the same as that received by James Gorman, chief executive of Morgan Stanley, Goldman’s traditional investment banking rival. Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, the biggest US bank by assets, was paid $34.5m.

Gorman earned a base salary of $1.5m, an $8.375m cash bonus, $5.025m in a deferred equity award and a performance-based stock bonus worth $20.1m. Dimon was paid a base salary of $1.5m and a $33m performance-based bonus.

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