How Trump’s Win Instantly Made Goldman Insiders Millions of Dollars

  • Awards set to expire on Thanksgiving were out-of-the-money
  • Shares of Goldman Sachs have soared since Trump’s victory

Donald Trump pulled off more than one Election Day miracle.

Just last week, it looked like more than 1 million stock options granted to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s top executives and directors would expire out of the money. The awards, granted with strike prices of $199.84 at the end of 2006, a solid year for bank stocks, were set to expire on Thanksgiving eve. But on Nov. 7, the night before Americans voted, they closed at $181.48, meaning it wouldn’t make sense for executives to exercise them.

Then Trump pulled off an upset victory and Goldman Sachs surged 16 percent through Thursday, allowing executives to exercise the options and sell shares to lock in gains. The stock closed at $209.63 on Thursday and traded for as much as $212.07 this week, the highest since July 2015. Financial stocks have been the best performers among 11 major industries in the S&P 500 since the election.

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

Insiders at the bank sold $205 million of stock since Nov. 8, company filings show. That’s three times more than the group has sold in any month for at least five years, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

After accounting for option exercises, the figures are less impressive. Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn netted $1.68 million, data compiled by Bloomberg from regulatory filings show. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein got $1.18 million and David Viniar, the former chief financial officer and a current board member, received $1.13 million.

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