U.S. Markets closed

Goldman awards CEO Blankfein $23 million in pay for 2015

Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, waits to speak at the 10,000 Women/State Department Entrepreneurship Program at the State Department in Washington, March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

By Olivia Oran

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein received $23 million in salary and bonuses for 2015, according to a person familiar with the matter.

That's the first decline in four years for Blankfein, who received $24 million in 2014.

Goldman said in a regulatory filing on Friday it had awarded Blankfein a restricted stock bonus of 96,934 shares worth $14.7 million, based on Goldman's closing price of $151.65 on Thursday when the bank said it granted the award. Half of that bonus is in share units tied to performance.

Goldman's board of directors typically awards executives 70 percent of their bonus in stock and 30 percent in cash, suggesting that Blankfein also received a $6.3 million cash bonus. Goldman does not disclose the full details of executives' pay packages until it files its proxy statement.

Combined with a salary of about $2 million, Blankfein's total pay package for last year was roughly $23 million.

Goldman Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz and president Gary Cohn both received restricted shares worth $13.4 million.

Goldman in 2015 posted a return on equity (ROE) of 7.4 percent, after being hit in the fourth quarter by a $5 billion settlement related to its dealings with mortgage backed securities during the financial crisis reduced ROE. Adjusting for the settlement, the bank's return on equity would have been 11.2 percent, which is in line with its profitability over the last several years.

Rival Morgan Stanley (MS.N), in contrast, posted a return on equity of 8.5 percent in 2015, below its target of 10 percent.

Goldman generated net revenue of $33.8 billion in 2015, down 2 percent from the year ago period. Investment banking revenue rose 9 percent, boosted by record performance from its M&A advisory business.

The bank's trading business was flat over last year, as strong equities revenue was able to offset a slide in the bank's bond business. Investment management revenue grew 3 percent, and investing and lending fell 20 percent.

Shares of Goldman have declined 8 percent in 2015, making it the second worst performer of all the big U.S. banks after Morgan Stanley (MS.N), which slumped 18 percent.

Blankfein's pay is less than that of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) CEO Jamie Dimon. The bank said on Thursday it had raised Dimon's overall compensation by 35 percent to $27 billion but cut the cash portion and tied three quarters of the total to performance-sensitive stock awards.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Bernard Orr)