Goldman Sachs Group Inc. made hundreds of partners rich when it went public in 1999. Its performance since then has turned Lloyd Blankfein into a billionaire.
The chief executive officer of the Wall Street bank for the past nine years, Blankfein has seen his net worth surge to about $1.1 billion as the firm’s shares quadrupled since the initial public offering, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. As the largest individual owner of Goldman Sachs stock, he has a stake in the company worth almost $500 million. Real estate and an investment portfolio seeded by cash bonuses and distributions from the bank’s private-equity funds add more than $600 million.
For Blankfein, the son of a New York postal worker, the accumulation of wealth has been dramatic. He’s one of the few current leaders of a big global bank who reached a senior-executive rank before his firm went public. That won’t happen again anytime soon, as Goldman Sachs was the last major Wall Street firm to end its private partnership.
“It will be a rare thing,” said Alan Johnson, managing director of compensation-consulting firm Johnson Associates. “Most people won’t have as long of a career at a high level, and it’s certainly unusual to keep as much of that stock that you’ve been granted. And then, of course, the firm you work for has to be really successful.”