Citing congressional investigators, The Wall Street Journal Web site reported Wednesday evening that top executives at 21 well-known corporations were awarded shares in hot IPOs from Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report, which received investment banking fees from those same corporations.
Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman and
co-founder Jerry Yang each received shares in more than 100 initial public offerings of stock managed by Goldman since 1996, and quickly resold many of the shares at a profit. Whitman is also a Goldman director.
said data provided by the House of Representatives' Financial Services Committee show that Goldman also allocated hot IPOs to the personal brokerage accounts of three other eBay officials: director Robert C. Kagle, who received shares in more than 25 IPOs, including
, in which he made more than 10 times his money; co-founder Jeffrey S. Skoll, who got in on more than 75 IPOs; and founder Pierre M. Omidyar, who received shares from more than 40 IPOs, some of which he sold on the same day they were offered.
The House panel and regulators are examining "spinning" -- in which banks funneled IPOs to top executives to gain lucrative investment banking business from their corporations.
Goldman officials denied impropriety, reported
, which quoted a Goldman spokesman calling the data "an egregious distortion of the facts." The spokesman added: "The suggestion that Goldman Sachs was involved in spinning or other inappropriate practices around IPO allocations is simply wrong."
Committee data showed that of the 22 Goldman-led IPOs parceled out to executives, eight offerings gained at least 173% on the first day of trading. Although some executives "flipped," or sold the shares on that first day, the
said it was not clear how much profit the executives netted from the IPOs.
said Goldman clients who received IPO allocations included Edward Lenk, former CEO of
, who got access to more than 25 IPOs and whose company paid Goldman $5 million; Martin Peretz, a director and the second-largest shareholder of
, who received shares in more than 25 IPOs, including 25,000 shares of
and whose company, which publishes this Web site, paid Goldman $2 million in fees; and
co-founder Nancy Evans, who was granted access to more than 50 IPOs and whose company paid the firm $2 million.
Goldman also allocated shares in IPOs -- including the brokerage's own IPO in 1999 -- to executives at
Among Goldman clients who were allocated thousands of shares in Goldman's IPO, the
reported, were Michael Eisner, CEO of
, who received 30,000 shares; Barry Sternlicht, CEO of
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
, who received 11,000 shares, and William Clay Ford, CEO of
, who received 400,000 shares.