Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 as of 9:29 PM ET

Goldman Sachs Names 70 Partners, Fewest as Public Company

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. named 70 employees to join its so-called partnership, the fewest in the firm’s 13 years as a public company, as sluggish revenue growth pressures expenses.

The promotions to partner, which take place every two years, are down from 110 in 2010 and 94 in 2008. Partners, known as participating managing directors, typically receive a $900,000 salary, up from $600,000 two years ago, and a cut of a special bonus pool that’s awarded primarily in stock, according to a person with knowledge of the firm’s policies.

Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, confers the status on a group of employees to continue a tradition from the firm’s 130 years as a private partnership, which ended with a 1999 public offering. The designation places an employee among an elite at a company whose alumni include two former U.S. Treasury secretaries and the president of the European Central Bank.

“Other than billionaire, partner at Goldman Sachs is probably the most coveted status on Wall Street,” said Gregory Cresci, an executive recruiter at Odyssey Search Partners in New York. “It commands respect.”

Adding Women

Fourteen percent of the new partners are women, the highest percentage since at least 2006, according to Michael DuVally, a spokesman in New York. About 59 percent are based in the Americas, with 29 percent based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 13 percent in Asia, DuVally said.

Among the newly promoted are Jason H. Brauth, head of investment-grade credit trading; Gerald Ouderkirk III, who oversees trading of collateralized loan obligations and catastrophe bonds; Huw Pill, chief European economist, and Anthony Gutman, co-head of U.K. investment banking.

Partners, who hold the most senior roles at the bank, collectively owned about 11.4 percent of the firm’s stock as of Oct. 22, according to a Nov. 2 regulatory filing.

Revenue in the first nine months of the year totaled $24.9 billion, an 18 percent decline from the same period in 2010 and 4.7 percent higher than the same period in 2008. The company set aside $11 billion for compensation and benefits in the first nine months of this year, down from $11.4 billion in 2008.

Goldman Sachs employed 32,600 people at the end of September, a drop from 34,200 a year earlier, according to company filings.

‘Challenges’

The total number of partners, once the new promotions take place on Jan. 1, will amount to 1.7 percent of full-time employees, little changed from 1.8 percent after the last round of promotions, according to DuVally.

“We don’t discount the difficult challenges facing the industry today and we have responded early and aggressively,” Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, 58, said at an investor conference in New York yesterday. “History and our culture have also forced us to think about the risk of going overboard in either direction.”

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