Goldman Pay Pool Expands 6% as Employee Base Shrinks

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s compensation expense climbed 6 percent in 2012, the first increase in three years, as revenue rose 19 percent.

The expense, which includes salaries, bonuses, benefits and deferred awards from previous years, advanced to $12.9 billion for the year from $12.2 billion in 2011, the New York-based company said today in a statement. The cost amounted to 38 percent of revenue, compared with 42 percent a year earlier.

Goldman Sachs, led by Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, has sought to lower annual costs by $1.9 billion since mid-2011 as the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets contended with slumping revenue. The pay increase for 2012 contrasts with a 3 percent decline in the number of employees to 32,400 during the year.

The pay expense averages $399,506 per employee, up from $367,057 in 2011. The average compensation figures are derived by dividing the compensation pool by the number of employees and don’t reflect actual pay for individual workers.

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