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The Big Take

Goldman Sachs Wants Its Bonuses Back as Punishment for Jumping Ship

The Wall Street bank is going to great lengths to head off departures with measures like seizing vested pay.

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Illustration: Richard A. Chance

As Wall Street firms struggle to hold on to top talent, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. isn’t just paying bigger bonuses to dissuade executives from leaving — it’s turning the screws on those who do.

For decades, Goldman has cultivated close ties with departing executives, nurturing the corporate world’s most powerful alumni network. They often establish lucrative, second careers and then enlist Goldman for advice, deals and trades. It’s a connective tissue for a lifetime of shared riches.