Goldman Executives Cash In Decade-Old Options for $14.6 Million

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Dominic Chu reports that a half-dozen top Goldman Sachs Group officials, including Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and President Gary Cohn, reaped $14.6 million by exercising 10-year-old stock options due to expire next month. He reports on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop."

A half-dozen top Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) officials, including Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein and President Gary D. Cohn, reaped $14.6 million by exercising 10-year-old stock options due to expire next month.

Blankfein, 58, collected $3.15 million last week when he sold 68,836 shares purchased for $78.87 each, according to an Oct. 19 filing. Cohn, 52, made $1.87 million selling 40,425, a separate filing showed.

Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, has gained in New York Stock Exchange composite trading in the past 10 years, even as the stock is worth about half the price of five years ago. The six executives sold a combined 320,424 shares last week at prices ranging from $123.92 to $126.17 after buying them at the $78.87 strike price granted in November and December 2002, the filings show.

Michael S. Sherwood, 47, the firm’s London-based vice chairman and co-head of the European business, reaped the biggest gain of $5.23 million as he exercised 115,211 options and sold the stock on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18, according to a filing. In November 2009, Sherwood made about $15.7 million exercising options on 182,860 shares.

Chief Financial Officer David A. Viniar, 57, who is set to step down from his role in January, made $2.28 million selling 50,751 shares, while John S. Weinberg, 55, a vice chairman and co-head of investment banking, made $1.87 million selling 41,094 shares after exercising options, filings show.

Sarah Smith, the chief accounting officer, exercised 4,107 options and sold the underlying shares for a profit of $185,681, a filing showed.

Michael DuVally, a spokesman for New York-based Goldman Sachs, declined to comment on the transactions.

All of the sales took place on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18 after the company reported third-quarter results on Oct. 16, beating analysts’ estimates. Goldman Sachs ended the week at $123.62, up 2.8 percent from the Oct. 12 close of $120.20.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Harper in New York at charper@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.

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