Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Goldman executive who earned more than $100M since 2020 to ‘retire’ after clashing with CEO David Solomon: report

Ed Emerson, one of Goldman Sachs’ highest-paid executives — who openly criticized CEO David Solomon’s missteps — is retiring early next year, aged just 47. Goldman Sachs 

One of Goldman Sachs’ highest-paid executives will step down from his top role at the bank early next year after raking in roughly $100 million over the past three years — even more than CEO David Solomon, according to a report.

Ed Emerson — a 47-year-old trader who leads Goldman’s commodities business and whose pay exceeded Solomon’s $77.5 million during the same three-year period — is set to “retire” from his lucrative position in March, according to a company memo.

The hard-charging executive — who was “known to relentlessly argue his views and sometimes clash with superiors,” has gained a reputation as a “vocal critic of Solomon’s leadership” and took issue with strategic stumbles that led to billions in losses, according to Bloomberg .

“His bosses have been wary of dealing with him around bonus time, when he frequently pushes for higher pay for his team,” the report added of Emerson.

Goldman has reported painful losses in recent months, including when it revealed that its trading desks that make bets on interest rate products had lost approximately $200 million shortly after Silicon Valley Bank failed March.

A month later, the Wall Street giant disclosed a $470 million loss “related to a partial sale of the Marcus loans portfolio” in April.
Goldman has reported painful losses in recent months. EPA

In the latest quarter, Goldman saw profits plummet 33% as the bank continues facing losses from selling off chunks of its consumer lending business and worse-than-expected revenue from its asset and wealth management division.

In his final act at the firm, Emerson will serve as an advisory director through March 2024, as Xiao Qin and Nitin Jindal are jointly transitioned into the role, according to a company memo obtained by The Post.

“We are pleased that he will become an advisory director at that time, remaining engaged with our global commodities business,” the note read, which detailed Emerson’s accomplishments at the bank since he first joined in 1999.

A Goldman Sachs spokesperson confirmed the contents of the memo to The Post.

Emerson also remains close with Goldman President John Waldron — widely thought to be the bank’s CEO in waiting — and trading boss Ashok Varadhan, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Emerson has reportedly made more than Solomon since 2020, bringing home a whopping $100 million in the three years. Solomon, meanwhile, took home $77.5 million. Lenin Nolly/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

The commodities-trading business has long been known for minting executives, Bloomberg noted , including Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn, who rose from the team to become CEO and president, respectively.

Emerson also has been known to carve out time for practical jokes in his personal and professional life.

During his time heading up the commodities-trading desk, Emerson took a vacation to Costa Rica and littered fake snakes around the house in the middle of the night to scare his travel companions, Bloomberg reported.
Emerson was reportedly one of the highest-paid executives on Wall Street. However, when not working as a hard-charging trader, he liked to execute practical jokes in his personal and professional lives. REUTERS

Emerson will likely be enjoying his retirement at the $16 million home he recently splashed out on in Palm Beach, Fla., where Goldman recently moved more than 100 key staffers from its New York headquarters to a shining new office in the Sunshine State.

The abode spans 5,392 square feet with five bedrooms and six bathrooms, The Real Deal reported in August 2022, when Emerson initially bought the home to share with his wife, Natalie.

Earlier in the year, Emerson earned a staggering $30 million bonus thanks to the commodities desk’s revenue, which topped $2.2 billion in 2021, Bloomberg reported at the time — a stunning comeback from 2017 before Emerson took the helm, when the team only made $300 million.

Emerson could not be reached for comment.

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