Goldman executives pocket $50m in share sales

Goldman Sachs executives including Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive, and David Viniar, outgoing chief financial officer, pocketed nearly $50m after exercising stock options and selling shares in the investment bank.

Mr Blankfein yielded more than $5m and Mr Viniar almost $15m from the sale of shares in the past two months, according to regulatory filings made by the investment bank in recent weeks.

Options awarded to the senior Goldman partners about a decade ago expired on Friday, leading to a rush by the Goldman executives to cash in.

Goldman’s stock has risen in value by about 50 per cent since the options were granted in 2002, helping create the payouts.

Mike Evans, head of Goldman’s emerging markets business, made $13.2m, while Gary Cohn, chief operating officer made more than $5m in the past two months.

Mike Sherwood, head of Goldman’s European business, made more than half a million dollars this week after converting the options, adding to the more than $5m he made in October.

While older Goldman partners have been reaping awards from old options and shares, newer partners who received options just before the financial crisis, when Goldman stock peaked, will have a tougher time profiting.

Earlier this month, Goldman also selected one of its smallest classes of new partners since the bank went public more than a decade ago.

The smaller partner class should help the bank save costs and preserve more of the profit pool for existing partners, some commenters claimed.

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