Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Goldman Sachs pay exceeds Bear Stearns market cap

“Goldman Sachs has earmarked $16.9bn (€11.5bn) for compensation and benefits for the first nine months of this year”

If its employees pooled all their pay they would be able to buy struggling rival investment bank Bear Stearns with money to spare. The stock market values Bear Stearns at about $14.7bn, so Goldman bankers and other workers would be able to buy the bank led by Jimmy Cayne with more than $2bn left over, according to Bloomberg.

Goldman was the best-performing investment bank in the third quarter when it reported a 79% surge in net profits, while most of its rivals suffered lower or non-existent profits. This enabled the bank to raise compensation for the third quarter by 68%, compared to the same period a year ago, to $5.9bn.

Compensation and benefits expenses were increased by 21% for the first nine months of the year, from $14bn at the same stage in 2006.

Compensation at Bear Stearns for the nine months of the year was $3.1bn, down 5.9% on a year earlier.

Goldman employed 29,905 people at the end of August, while Bear Stearns had almost half that number, with 15,516 workers. Based on those figures, the average compensation of a Goldman employee this year stands at about $565,000, compared to about average pay of about $200,000 at Bear Stearns.

Source: Financial News Online . Dominic Elliott

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