Gary Cohn got more than $130 million on his way from Goldman Sachs to the White House

A rich goodbye.
A rich goodbye.
Image: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino
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The Goldman Sachs-US government trade is proving to be a lucrative one. Gary Cohn, the recent president and and chief operating officer of the US investment bank, got more than $110 million in cash and stocks as he departed for a new role as economic adviser to US president Donald Trump. That’s on top of his 2016 pay package of $20 million.

According to company documents (pdf) filed this week, Goldman Sachs gave its outgoing executive cash and stock awards that were racked up during previous years but had not yet fully vested. These were released early to Cohn so he could divest the positions before starting his new role as director of the White House’s National Economic Council, to avoid financial conflicts of interest.

Cohn joined Goldman in 1990. He was made COO in 2006.

Goldman’s share price has rallied a staggering 30% since the US election. Investors have been boosting its price, along with other banks, on the expectation Trump will deregulate the banking industry, while higher inflation and interest rates should increase the bank’s profits. This rally has added millions to the value of Cohn’s stocks.

While some of Cohn’s stock was kept back for tax purposes, this isn’t the full amount of his takeaway from Goldman. The filing says he’ll also divest from another compensation plan, private equity and hedge fund investments managed by the bank. Bloomberg estimates the total amount to be more than $284 million.

Cohn is only one of several current and former Goldmanites to join the Trump administration, even after the new president’s strong criticism of the bank and of Wall Street generally during the campaign. Dina Powell is leaving the Goldman Sachs Foundation to be a senior counselor. Other key advisers including Steve Bannon and  Anthony Scaramucci used to work at Goldman, as did Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary.