In the hierarchy U.S. financial institutions, Goldman Sachs is certainly near the top of the list, but its CEO Lloyd Blankfein has not enjoyed top monetary compensation as head of such a prominent organization in the last four years — at least compared to his rival bank CEOs. This year, though, he is about to regain his status as the top-paid CEO among the U.S.’s most major financial institutions.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Blankfein’s position among the highest-paid CEOs on Wall Street slumped four years ago as Wells Fargo’s and J.P. Morgan Chase’s CEOs surpassed him in terms of salary plus bonus, but in 2013, Blankfein’s estimated $23 million pay package surpassed both aforementioned CEOs’, bringing him back up to the top spot of highest-paid CEO on Wall Street.
Following Blankfein, in second place is James Dimon, head of J.P. Morgan at $20 million, John Stumpf of Wells Fargo at $19.3 million, Michael Corbat of Citigroup at $14.1 million, and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America at $14 million. (James Gorman of Morgan Stanley’s pay package has yet to be released.)
Despite Wells Fargo’s CEO Jon Stumpf’s topple from the top of the heap — where he stood in 2012 — the company has remained faithful in his leadership in official statements. The Journal quotes Wells Fargo: "The Board believes that Mr. Stumpf has continued to show strong and effective leadership, leading the Company to strong 2013 financial performance.”
Analysts believe that the rise of Blankfein’s position signals somewhat of a recovery on the part of investment banks after years of cost-cutting, more aggressive regulatory environments following the 2008 financial crisis, and generally reinstating some manner of their reputations. While new rules on bigger financial institutions, and reinforced strict regulatory environments continue to exist for such banks that once enjoyed fewer requirements to be as transparent with both federal agencies and the public, analysts believe that Blankfein’s renewed top-salary status means more improvements for the health of investment and trading firms.