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David Solomon’s campaign to abase and erase everything that made Goldman Sachs unique, indispensable and the envy of all Wall Street continues apace. But his need to defile and destroy the one-time High Temple of Finance has its limit: It stops at the door of the partnership room.

Indeed, D.J. D-Sol may be intent on turning Goldman’s minor aristocracy into common plebs, but he’s equally concerned to MAGSPGA—Make A Goldman Sachs Partnership Great Again. To do so, he’s tamped down on his predecessors’ democratizing trends, not only naming fewer partners but ejecting the unworthy from the highest realms of the Elect.

After an uptick in retirements and a few cases of “de-partnering,” where executives are quietly stripped of the title but stay at the firm, the partnership will likely shrink to its smallest in years.

But mere exclusivity will not return to the title “Goldman Sachs partner” the fear and awe it once inspired. No: These men and women must not be mere business card-wielding warriors, but must enjoy the trappings that of right come with the rank.

Goldman’s new class of partners, to be promoted next month, is likely to be its smallest since the mid-1990s, according to people familiar with the matter. And for those who make the cut, the Wall Street firm is dangling a new financial carrot: access to profits from its private investment funds.

Partners will receive carried interest—a slice of future profits, taxed at low rates—in four of Goldman’s private investment funds starting this year, people familiar with the plans said. The firm will lend partners up to half a million dollars to increase their personal investment…. Goldman’s private funds were already open to partners on terms similar to outside investors. But carried interest is new and far more lucrative if the funds in question—which include a corporate-buyouts fund and another that buys stakes in hedge funds and other investment managers—hit minimum profit thresholds.

Wall Street’s Most Exclusive Club Is Getting Smaller. The Perks Are Getting Better. [WSJ]


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