Former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn has not only left Wall Street for the new Donald Trump Administration, he also took more than $100 million with him. Gary Cohn will serve as the chair of President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council.
Forbes reports that on his way out the door of Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn cashed in on the fact that all of his outstanding stock grants vested.
The idea here is to make it easier for an employee to move over to government service by making sure that he does not lose too much money by doing so. And the firm also wants people like Cohn to be able to sever their ties to Goldman and thereby avoid all of those pesky conflict of interest problems.
But according to Bloomberg, Gary Cohn will actually walk away with a total of $284 million. This includes $65 million in cash and stock tied to Goldman Sachs’ future performance, as well as about $220 million of Goldman equity he already held or was waiting to mature.
So Gary Cohn is making a fortune because people believe that the Donald Trump Presidency will be good for Wall Street firms and this is being proven by the appointment of people like Cohn himself.
Frank Glassner, CEO of Veritas Executive Compensation Consultants, spoke on Gary Cohn’s compensation telling Bloomberg, “Fortuitously, all of this divestiture happens as stock in Goldman Sachs hovers near a multi-year high. It’s not like he’s jumping out of an airplane that’s headed down.”
Gary Cohen’s compensation was revealed in regulatory filings made on Tuesday by Goldman Sachs.
But wait, didn’t Donald Trump make a point of condemning Goldman Sachs and its people like Gary Cohn during his Presidential campaign? Didn’t President Trump slam his opponents like Senator Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton for their ties to Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs?
And yet, as President, Mr. Trump has filled his cabinet and White House staff with Wall Street people like Gary Cohn. How exactly this will save American jobs is not yet clear to the American public.
The interesting thing here is that if Donald Trump’s Presidency proves to be a boon for Wall Street then Gary Cohn would have made even more money had he stayed with Goldman. But if it is not, then Goldman stock will drop and Cohn will be able to buy it all back for much less than he just pocketed whenever he leaves the Trump Administration.
One thing is certain, whether they have divested themselves of their assets or not, people like Gary Cohn will certainly be concerned more with the welfare of their former Wall Street firms than that of the American people as a whole and no, the two are not the same thing.