Top Aide to SEC Chair White Earned $3.2 Million at Goldman

A former top attorney at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., who left to become chief of staff to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White, was paid $3.2 million during his last 18 months at the bank.

Andrew “Buddy” Donohue’s earnings were disclosed in a personal financial report he’s required to file under government ethics rules. He will continue to participate in the bank’s retirement plan, though neither Goldman Sachs nor Donohue will contribute more cash after this year to the account, the report says.

White’s decision in May to make Donohue her top aide was the latest SEC hire with ties to the financial industry, sparking criticism from some investors groups and labor unions. Donohue, 64, was a managing director and associate general counsel at Goldman Sachs and worked as the top lawyer for its asset-management unit, which manages mutual funds.

SEC spokeswoman Gina Talamona declined to comment on Donohue’s pay.

Before joining Goldman Sachs in 2012, Donohue worked at law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius. He was the SEC’s director of investment management, regulating mutual funds and hedge funds, from 2006 to 2010. Early in his career, he worked as global general counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

The period in which Donohue received $3.2 million included two bonus payments, which Goldman Sachs typically pays out in late January.

Most of Donohue’s assets are in money-market funds, index funds, and treasury notes. He sold Goldman Sachs shares valued between $15,000 and $50,000 before filing the report in July. He also earned $10,850 as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School, the filing says.