Top 10: Goldman Sachs' Biggest Winners
Goldman's top traders and bankers are likely to take home the biggest bonuses.
Dec. 15, 2009— -- Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, as the head of Wall Street's most controversial investment bank, has become a recognizable national figure, and the target of outrage at the over-the-top compensation offered to people like him.
Now that Goldman is preparing to close the books on one of its most profitable years ever, ABCNews.com spoke with securities industry members and executive recruiters. They suggested which Goldman employees stand to bring home the biggest bonus checks when the firm's estimated $22 billion compensation kitty is carved up early next year.
A Goldman spokesman said "the speculation about compensation is ill-informed and, frankly, pretty stupid," adding that bonuses aren't figured out until the end of the year.
Even so, while Blankfein, along with president Gary Cohn and CFO David Viniar, are the most public faces at the firm, there are numerous, lesser-known Goldman employees who are likely to do very well.
Here are 10 who most likely are in line to clear at least $10 million:
Pierre-Henri Flamand is a French-born 39-year-old who was rumored to have been paid $100 million a few years ago (Goldman denied it). Flamand is the London-based global head of Goldman's purely proprietary trading group, Goldman Sachs Principal Strategies. Goldman CEO Blankfein has said pure prop trading is only 10 percent of the firm's trading revenues and profits.
Ashok Varadhan, one of Goldman's top fixed-income guns, is the global head of foreign exchange trading in North America. Varadhan, who made partner in 2002 at age 29, owns luxury digs in the same New York apartment building as Blankfein. Varadhan's dad, Srinivasa, teaches math at New York University. He had a brother, Gopal, who worked as a trader for Cantor Fitzgerald and was killed in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
David Heller joined Goldman in Asia in the late 1980s. He has risen within the firm, becoming the head of global equity a few years ago. Last year, he was named co-head of the Securities Division. Goldman's equities division delivered $2.8 billion in revenues in the third quarter alone. "Heller is possibly the one person other than Gary [Cohn, Goldman's president] who could someday succeed Blankfein," said one Wall Street headhunter.
Ed Eisler is head of interest rate trading, which is part of Goldman's most profitable division, Fixed Income Commodities and Currency. The FICC group contributed the lion's share of the firm's $24 billion in trading revenues recorded through the first nine months of the year.
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