While some incoming members of the Trump administration are getting a bit of a pass on federal ethics and conflict of interests “rules,” others are choosing to sell up lock, stock and barrel. Improbably, one of the latter is National Economic Council director-designate Gary Cohn, of the Blankfein-Cohns, late of Goldman Sachs. And boy oh boy is there a lot to sell up—more than a quarter of billion dollars’ worth. Luckily, his old colleagues are lending a hand.
To help Cohn avoid conflicts of interest as Trump’s top economic adviser, the bank is letting its former president immediately collect about $65 million in cash and stock tied to its future performance. That’s on top of roughly $220 million of Goldman equity he already held or was awaiting, as well as stakes in company-run investment funds, according to regulatory filings Tuesday.
And then there are the other parting gifts.
A Tuesday filing shows the bank lifted restrictions or accelerated delivery on a total of about $123.7 million in stock and cash awards. That includes $47 million to settle outstanding awards he received each year since 2011 under the bank’s long-term incentive program. And he got an $18 million cash payment in exchange for outstanding performance shares.
Plus, the economic renaissance single-handedly achieved by Gary’s new boss has made those shares very valuable, indeed. Valuable enough that Gary’s not the only one squirreling a few hundred million under the mattress for a rainy day. Still, the news isn’t all good.
Mr. Cohn earned a 2016 pay package valued at $20 million, down 5% from a year earlier, the Wall Street firm also disclosed.