$598 Million: New Filings Show How Much Goldman Paid 95 UK Employees In 2010

Goldman Sachs

The Guardian has reviewed newly mandatory European Union compensation filings for Goldman Sachs:

Regulatory filings for Goldman Sachs Group Holdings (UK) show that it had 95 code staff in 2010 who shared $269.5m (£175m) in cash (including salaries) and were handed 2m restricted stock units (RSUs), worth $320m at the $160-ish share price in 2010. At these prices – and it is an inexact science as the RSUs pay out over five years and their value will depend on the share price in the future (it is currently $98), this suggests an average pay deal of $6.2m for each of the 95, none of whom is identified by name.

As noted, Goldman did not disclosure when and in what increments the stock units vested and could be cashed in.

In addition, these so-called “code staff”, who are defined as those who are empowered to take or manage risk, received further restricted stock as part of one-off retention packages:

A further 3.7m RSUs – which on the same basis were worth around $595m – were awarded during 2010 in “deferred compensation” to the code staff in one-off retention packages put in place by Goldman during 2010. Their exact value will not be known for five years.

As with many such regulations, coming to a unified understanding of which employees are and are not considered “code staff” appears to be a significant challenge.

Barclays and RBS named more than two and three times as many “code staff”, respectively, as Goldman did. While it could be argued that these two firms have more intensive UK operations than Goldman does, the discrepancy suggests increased harmonization of definitions may be necessary.