- Goldman Sachs paid its general counsel, Kathy Ruemmler, $17.5 million in total compensation for 2021, according to a proxy the bank filed Friday.
- That marks a 75% raise over what the bank paid Ruemmler's predecessor, Karen Seymour, for 2020. Seymour left Goldman in March 2021. Ruemmler joined the bank in 2020 as its head of regulatory affairs.
- The bank also reported a $7.5 million raise for its president and chief operating officer, John Waldron, who made $33 million in 2021. That, in itself, represents a 29.4% jump over the $25.5 million Waldron was slated to make in 2020, before the bank clawed back $7 million over the bank's connection with the 1MDB scandal.
As it turns out, $7.5 million is a popular figure by which to bump executive compensation at Goldman. That's the difference between Ruemmler's 2020 and 2021 pay. And Waldron's. And CEO David Solomon's. The chief executive made $35 million in 2021 — $7.5 million over the $27.5 million he would have pulled in, were it not for the $10 million clawback he saw in relation to 1MDB.
Goldman announced in October it was awarding one-time stock-based incentives, worth in the tens of millions, to Solomon and Waldron. The move was meant to “ensure leadership continuity” for at least the next five years, the bank said at the time. But Goldman in January bestowed similar yet presumably smaller rewards on its approximately 400 partners.
Goldman paid Ruemmler $7.9 million in cash for 2021, consisting of a $1.5 million base salary and a $6.4 million bonus, as well as a stock bonus valued at $9.6 million, according to Friday's filing.
Ruemmler and her predecessor, Seymour, helped Goldman to address and navigate the 1MDB corruption scandal. Before joining Goldman, Ruemmler served as White House counsel during the Obama administration, and then as a litigation partner and global chair of the white-collar defense and investigations practice at Latham & Watkins.
Waldron, meanwhile, received a base salary of $1.85 million, a bonus of $12.46 million and $18.69 million in stock, for a total compensation of $33 million.
Banks have been shelling out more in compensation for 2021 to keep talent from the top of their roster to the bottom. Goldman in particular took in more than $59.3 billion in net revenue in 2021 — surpassing its previous record yearly total by the end of September.