Goldman Sachs CEO receives pay cut amid decreased earnings


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Misheel Bayasgalan, Copy Editor

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO David Solomon received a $10 million pay cut for 2022, as the bank faces a dip in earnings.

According to a Jan. 27 filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Solomon’s total annual compensation for 2022 was $25 million. This is a roughly 29% decrease from compensation he received in 2021, which totaled $35 million.

The compensation includes “an annual base salary of $2 million, unchanged year-over-year, as well as annual variable compensation of $23 million.”

The report said that 30% of the variable compensation was paid out in cash, while the remaining 70% — worth $16.1 million — is in the form of performance-based restricted stock units, which are directly tied to performance metrics.

In comparison to Solomon’s total compensation, Bank of America Corp. CEO Brian Moynihan earned $32 million, while Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman earned $31 million, according to their respective firms’ fillings.

Goldman Sachs’ board of directors said its decision to cut Solomon’s compensation was guided by its 2022 performance, both on its own and in comparison to rival firms. The decision was also based on a comparison to Goldman Sachs’ 2021 performance.

The firm’s share price fell over 10% in 2022, while its full-year earnings fell by 48%. It also reported a 16% drop in revenue during the final quarter of the fiscal year. These losses were caused by fewer mergers and initial public offering activities, resulting in less asset management revenue last year, according to CNN.

The firm reported on Jan. 17 its largest decrease in earnings in a decade. It came as revenue fell and loan loss provisions — an expense set as an allowance for uncollected loans and related payments — came in higher than expected.

Goldman Sachs’ 2022 fourth quarter profits decreased 66% to $1.33 billion when compared to its 2021 performance. This was the largest decrease in earnings per share since October 2011, according to CNBC.

The firm initiated a layoff of 3,200 employees in January, its largest staff reduction since the 2008 financial crisis.

“There are a variety of factors impacting the business landscape, including tightening monetary conditions that are slowing down economic activity,” Solomon told the New York Post. “We need to proceed with caution and manage our resources wisely.”

In an already difficult financial climate, Goldman Sachs’ performance may be further stressed by its expansion from traditional investment banking to consumer banking. This move resulted in the loss of billions of dollars and the departures of top executives, according to The New York Times.

“In the consumer platforms, we did some things right,” Solomon told CNBC. “We didn’t execute on some others. We probably took on more than we should have, you know, too much, too quickly.”

The company’s efforts in diversifying its business included the creation of Marcus, a full-scale digital bank that proved to be costly, and the partnership with Apple Inc. for its Apple Card service, which is turning out to be less profitable than some executives expected.

Nonetheless, Solomon is hopeful about the expansion, adding that “We’re working on our cards platform, and I think the partnership with Apple is going to pay meaningful dividends for the firm.”