Worst-In-Class Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein Gets 9% Pay Raise
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) , the Wall Street powerhouse whose abysmal bond-trading returns last year robbed shareholders during a rally in U.S. bank stocks, gave CEO Lloyd Blankfein a 9% raise last year to $24 million, more than better-performing rivals. 

His compensation in 2017 included his $2 million salary plus a $22 million bonus, the New York-based company said Friday in a regulatory filing.

The Goldman board of directors' compensation committee, led by former Fannie Mae (FNMA)  CEO James Johnson, awarded the raise after "our firm delivered higher revenue and stronger pre-tax profits despite a challenging environment for our market-making businesses," according to the filing. 

Goldman's fixed-income division, historically a juggernaut for the firm, saw revenue plunge 30% last year, worst among peers. The firm's stumbles allowed rivals Action Alerts Plus holding JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) , Bank of America Corp. (BAC) , Citigroup Inc. (C) and Morgan Stanley (MS)  to steal market share.

Making things worse, revenue in Goldman's stock-trading division slipped by 4.5% on the year, also more than peers experienced. Goldman's total trading revenue was down 18% on the year, more than double the average decline among the biggest Wall Street firms. 

Over the past 12 months, Goldman's share price has increased just 7%, compared with gains of 20% for the other big Wall Street firms.  

Blankfein's rosy review from the Goldman board of directors contrasts with the assessment of some analysts who have panned the CEO as having lost his touch, and for failing to retool strategy amid drastic changes over the past decade in bank regulation. Dick Bove, a five-decade analyst now at Vertical Group, has called for Blankfein, who has led the firm since before the 2008 financial crisis, to be replaced, saying he's overstayed his welcome.

It was such an annus horibilis for Goldman that Blankfein had to limit share buybacks -- a way of returning money to shareholders -- and announce a $5 billion growth plan to assure investors that the firm had a strategy for improvement. 

Yet the compensation committee cited that growth plan as part of the justification for Blankfein's pay raise. 

Blankfein's compensation exceeded that of Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, who got a 15% pay raise in 2017 to $23 million as the bank's stock price gained 30% over the past year.

Citigroup, whose stock price is up 28% over the past year, increased CEO Michael Corbat's pay by 48% to $23 million. 

The highest-paid CEO on Wall Street JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM's Jamie Dimon, who got a 5.3% raise to $29.5 million as the bank's share price rose 27%.

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