Goldman Sachs bankers relish the benefits as revenues more than quadruple to $27 billion

Goldman Sachs paid its 43,900 bankers more than $17 billion last year, a 33% rise over 2020, as the investment bank more than doubled pre-tax earnings to $27 billion owing to frenetic dealmaking on both sides of the Atlantic.

The wage and bonus increase amounts to almost $403,000 for each employee on average, up from approximately $328,000 a year earlier. It is the highest wage and bonus payout the bank has made since 2007, during the height of the banking boom preceding the financial catastrophe.

Goldman's bankers will learn how much they will receive individually in 2021 when the business announces annual bonuses on so-called "comp day" on Wednesday.

Around 400 senior executives – or the top 1% of the company – are anticipated to earn a one-time pandemic bonus in appreciation of the bank's achievements during the coronavirus crisis. According to Bloomberg, bonuses for this exclusive group are projected to range from the low single digit million to tens of millions of dollars. Goldman did not respond.

David Solomon, Goldman's CEO, is set to see his pay skyrocket compared to last year, when his salary was reduced by $10 million due to the bank's participation in the 1MDB crisis. In 2020, he earned $17.5 million in total compensation, down from $27.5 million in 2019.

Banks on both sides of the Atlantic have been aggressively upping salaries and bonuses in recent months in a bid to attract top staff as corporate deal-making continues to flourish.

Goldman raised compensation for its junior bankers last summer after they complained about "inhuman" working conditions and 100-hour weeks.

First-year analysts' basic compensation raised to $110,000 before bonuses from close to $70,000 previously. Analysts in their second year saw their compensation increase to $125,000.

Goldman's stock dropped 8% on Wall Street after the bank's final-quarter profits were lower than projected. It made $3.9 billion in earnings, or $10.81 per share, compared to analysts' expectations of $11.76. Annual pre-tax operational earnings increased to $27 billion, up from $12.5 billion the previous year. Revenues for the fiscal year totaled $59.3 billion, a 33% increase over 2020.

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