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Goldman Sachs’s Nine-Month Compensation Costs Increase 10%

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, set aside almost $11 billion to pay employees in the first nine months of the year, up 10 percent from the same period in 2011 as revenue climbed. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, set aside almost $11 billion to pay employees in the first nine months of the year, up 10 percent from the same period in 2011 as revenue climbed. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, set aside almost $11 billion to pay employees in the first nine months of the year, up 10 percent from the same period in 2011 as revenue climbed.

The expense, which includes salaries, bonuses, stock awards and benefits, was 44 percent of the firm’s nine-month revenue, New York-based Goldman Sachs said today in a statement. That’s the same rate as a year earlier, when the firm set aside $10 billion.

The world’s biggest banks are under pressure to cut costs as concern that the global economy will slow revenue growth and new capital rules take effect. Goldman Sachs said in July that it plans to eliminate $500 million from annual expenses, mostly from compensation, on top of a $1.4 billion reduction earlier this year.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, said last week that it cut employee compensation at its investment bank by 9.4 percent in the first nine months of the year as the business generated 7.1 percent less revenue. It was enough to give each of the division’s 25,884 employees $269,703.

Goldman Sachs’s cost was equivalent to $336,441 for each of its 32,600 workers as of Sept. 30. A year earlier the firm employed 34,200 people, who shared about $10 billion, or $292,836 each, for the nine-month period.

The lender, led by Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, 58, today reported a $1.51 billion profit for the third quarter as fixed-income trading rebounded. Net income for the nine months was $4.58 billion, compared with $3.43 billion for the same period last year. Revenue increased 10 percent to $24.9 billion.

The average compensation figures are derived by dividing the compensation pool by the number of employees, and they don’t represent individual workers’ actual pay. Investment banks set aside revenue throughout the year for pay and typically decide bonuses at year-end.

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael J. Moore in New York at mmoore55@bloomberg.net; Christine Harper in New York at charper@bloomberg.net; Donal Griffin in New York at dgriffin10@bloomberg.net

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

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