Reuters, NEW YORK | Fri Apr 1, 2011
(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Inc (GS.N) awarded Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein a $5.4 million bonus for 2010, despite a decline in the company's share price and profit.
In a proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday afternoon, the Wall Street bank detailed significant pay increases for Blankfein and four other top executives.
The CEO, president, chief financial officer and two vice chairmen each received a base salary of $600,000 along with a $5.4 million bonus, stock grants worth $7.65 million and other perks.
Although Blankfein and other top executives received higher pay, Goldman shareholders faced a 38 percent decline in profits last year. Goldman's share price declined 0.4 percent in 2010 to close at $168.16 on December 31. The stock has declined 4.7 percent further this year, to close at $160.23 on Friday.
A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the pay packages. In the proxy filing, Goldman's compensation committee argues that the company's leaders deserved higher pay based on relative performance.
"Our performance over the last three-year period was strong, particularly in relation to our core competitors: Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N)," the committee said. "While our performance in 2010 was not as strong as in 2009 due to difficult market conditions for much of the year, we continued to create value for our shareholders and prudently manage our firm from a risk perspective."
Altogether, Blankfein received $14.12 million for his work in 2010, up from $1.03 million the previous year.
Goldman President Gary Cohn received $13.86 million in compensation last year, up from $924,572 in 2009.
Chief Financial Officer David Viniar received nearly $13.96 million, up from $945,978 in 2009.
Vice Chairman J. Michael Evans, who heads the global emerging markets team, received $13.93 million, up from $1.62 million and Vice Chairman John Weinberg, who is co-head of Goldman's investment bank, received $13.81 million, up from $732,540.
Blankfein received higher overall pay because his executive life insurance premium of $18,696 and his car and driver costs of $185,110 were more expensive, relative to the other executives.
(Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra; editing by Carol Bishopric, Gary Hill)
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