Goldman Sachs bankers fret over CEO David Solomon’s pay ahead of annual ‘Investor Day’


on the money

February 27, 2023 | 18:18

As Goldman Sachs prepares to host its second ever investor day, there are grumblings over the bank’s struggles under Chief Executive David Solomon – with some bankers saying the boss’s bonus should have shrunk more than it did.

As Solomon lays out his vision for the Wall Street giant at Tuesday’s shindig, many are still reeling from their disappointing year-end payouts — and pinning the blame on their part-time DJ boss, sources told On The Money.

“The partners took a massive pay hit. They took 50% less this year, in part because of David’s failed ideas,” a source who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Post. “Solomon only took a 30% cut. Why didn’t he take the same blow his partners got?”

After undergoing a scary round of layoffs that claimed more than 3,200 last month, the firm’s surviving partners are clearly frustrated with the state of their bank accounts. But some also worry they have lost credibility with younger staff, whose meager bonuses were a slap in the face after a year of hundred-hour work weeks, sources added.

“Even in bad times, managers have always said, ‘Let’s pay the kids,'” the source added. “The deal is that you work hard and get paid at the end of the year. It’s embarrassing for the partners that their junior staff didn’t get paid.”

Solomon’s moonlighting as an amateur DJ is a reported source of anxiety among Goldman’s ranks.
David Solomon/Instagram
Some Goldman Sachs employees wonder why the company even has an investor day.

For some Goldman employees, bonuses were cut by 90%. Many junior bankers — who last year raked in bonuses well into the six figures — received just $10,000 or $15,000, The Post previously reported.

Some company sources say they don’t understand why Solomon is holding another investor day, since the first one — held in 2020 just before the pandemic hit — was a flop.

“Last investor day, Solomon said X, and everything has turned out to be the opposite of what he predicted,” a Goldman source told The Post.

In 2020, Solomon named Goldman’s new consumer bank Marcus – at the time a business that brought in just 2.4% of the firm’s total revenue. After pouring nearly $6 billion into Marcus and never turning a profit, Solomon is scaling it back after “his ambitions got the better of him,” said a person close to Solomon.

A spokesperson for the bank told The Post, “We have set a clear strategic direction and we look forward to discussing our progress at Investor Day.”

People close to the note said Goldman’s total pay and benefits fell 15% in the fourth quarter, while CEO pay fell 29%.

These people add that Solomon has a solid plan for the second investor day, where he will emphasize the three core strategies he has already unveiled — increasing wallet share and financing in banking and markets, increasing management fees in capital and wealth management, and delivering profitability in platform solutions — and how he plans to achieve them.

Still others say holding an investor day without a radically new vision can be a waste – creating hype for nothing.

“The risk is that he doesn’t reveal anything at all,” a Goldman source who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Post. “I guess it will just be more of the same talking points from last time.”

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