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PEOPLE

The World’s Best Paid Banker

The World’s Best Paid Banker

Lloyd Blankfein's $21m haul makes him the world's best paid banker.

Lloyd Blankfein is the world’s best paid banking executive in the world. The Goldman Sach’s chief got $13 million in restricted shares and $ 5.7 million cash bonus apart from his $ 2 million annual salary. His total 2012 pay was $9m more than in 2011, and the highest since the $68m he received in 2007, before the financial crisis struck. The payout was disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) making him the best paid Banker.

The payroll figures come after the bank was dubbed as a “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money” by Matt Taibbi in a Rolling Stone magazine article on the bank in 2010. The bank had a total net profit of $ 7.5 billion, up from $ 4.4 billion in in 2011. Goldman’s compensation committee told that the bank’s bosses “reported exceptional leadership” and performed “extremely well throughout the year contributing to the company’s success”.

The Early rise

Lloyd Craig Blankfein was born on September 20th, 1954 in New York. The family lived in Linden Houses, a complex of 19 buildings, built in 1957 and a primary housing settlement of the Jewish and the White. His father worked at the post office and his mother worked as a receptionist in a burglar alarm company in the neighborhood. He studied in the Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn. Later he got a scholarship and reached the Harvard, where he worked at the Cafeteria to support himself financially. His first Wall Street job was for a gold dealer J Aron & Co, in 1981. The same year, J Aron was bought by Goldman, beginning his glorious career with the bank. He started with trading commodities followed by fixed income debt products. By the end of 2002 he was the head of Goldman’s entire trading floor. He got the top job in 2006 when the Bush administration chose him ahead of Henry Paulson.

The Revival Story

The 2008 financial crisis had a huge impact on the bank. It faced public outrage in the aftermath of the crisis over accusations that it had treated clients improperly. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), had sued the bank in April 2010, accusing it of misleading its clients in a mortgage derivative deal. The bank settled for a $ 550 million penalty and the investigation also saw intensive grilling of the bank’s top executives including Blankfein. The law suit and the hearings deeply embarrassed the bank in general and Blankfein in particular. After restoring the bank’s glory and guiding it past the 2006 crisis, Blankfein wanted the bank to regain its lost glory. A month after the SEC’s charges, he made his intentions clear for the bank’s revival by setting up the Business Standard Committee. He also travelled around the world to hold discussions with Goldman partners and top executives of the company worldwide. The company then put forth 39 recommendations to improve client relationship and governance. The bank has also overhauled its board and changed its public relation strategy. Goldman’s stock prices have risen by 25% in 2013, beating JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. 


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