Average Goldman Sachs Worker Paid $24K More in the First Three Months of 2017
Goldman Sachs may have disappointed investors in the most recent quarter, but its employees still have something to cheer about.
In the first three months of the year, Goldman Sachs workers at the mega-bank saw their pay and benefits increased by roughly $23,578 since the same quarter last year, according to the bank’s first quarter earnings release. That came despite the fact Goldman failed to impress investors in its first quarter earnings Tuesday, posting trading revenue that was 2.4% lower from a year earlier, at $3.4 billion for the quarter. That sent shares down over 5% by midday trading.
Yet still, in the first three months ending March, Goldman’s workers were paid an average $96,510. That up 24% from $72,930 a year ago, according to the bank’s first quarter earnings report Tuesday. If Goldman workers earned the same amount quarter after quarter (which they usually don’t), it would equal a pay of $386,000 for the year—much higher than the $338,000 actually paid to on average to Goldman staff in 2016.
So why was pay higher in the last three months? Part of the reason comes from job cuts that left more compensation on the table for other workers to snap up. Goldman shed 300 staff in the three months ending in March—adding to the 2,400 it had cut over the course of 2016. But at the same time, Goldman’s compensation and benefits pool rose by $629 million in the first quarter. Additionally, the first quarter of 2016 was a tough for Goldman, with volatile markets, regulatory burdens and fewer deals in the first half of the year pressing on its compensation pool.
The first quarter has been quite a pivot away from last year, when Goldman was said to be seeking cuts upward of $1 billion, according to Bloomberg. The first quarter’s larger compensation pool on the other hand drove up overall expenses for the bank by 15% since a year ago, to $5.5 billion.
Still, Goldman Sachs hasn’t been especially generous to employees this quarter as compared to others. In fact, the bank paid a historically low amount of its revenue to workers in the first quarter — 41% of the $8 billion in total revenue. That’s lower than the bank has ever posted in the first quarter since the company went public in 1999.
And if the bank continues to keep the ratio of its revenue paid as compensation lower than usual, it could result in savings of about $300 million for the company in the year, according to an estimate from Autonomous Research’s Guy Moskowski in the bank’s earnings call.
Fortune has reached out to Goldman Sachs, and will update this story when they respond.