Partners’ Stake in Goldman Sachs Rises

Partners’ Stake in Goldman Sachs Rises

The number of partners at Goldman Sachs has remained steady. But the elite group’s ownership in the Wall Street firm is rising.

In a regulatory filing, Goldman disclosed that its 407 partners own 12.7 percent of the firm, up from 11.4 percent in late October, according to an analysis of the data by Disclosure Matters, a firm that analyzes corporate disclosures.

In mid-November, Goldman named 70 new partners, but those additions didn’t increase the size of the partnership pool. That is because over time other partners have left. The filing indicates that since the beginning of 2012, 37 partners — including well-known names like banker Milton Berlinski and public relations chief Lucas van Praag — resigned from Goldman and fell off the list.

The minutia of Goldman’s partnership pool is closely followed on Wall Street. The bank picks a new partner class every two years, and the candidates are typically the firm’s biggest money producers.

The partnership has also become a bit of a barometer’s of Wall Street’s health. In good times, the class is larger and in tough economic times it shrinks. This year’s class was the smallest in years as Goldman has seen its profits shrink in the face of tough markets and increased government regulation.

The filing also shows that the number of American citizens in the partnership pool is on the rise, increasing to 60 percent from 56 percent at the beginning of the year. This is due in large part to the increase in the number of partners with dual citizenships.

Goldman is the only publicly traded bank to name partners. It harkens back to the firm’s years as a private company when the partners owned stakes in the firm. The firm went public in 1999 but created a system where it would still name partners, seeing it as a good way to create incentives and promote its top performers.

A Goldman spokesman declined to comment.


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