Goldman Sachs trader in row over $13 million bonus

Top trader claims his $8.25 million bonus for 2010 was too low
  • @mariatad

A former Goldman Sachs trader has filed an arbitration complaint against the Wall Street giant because his multi-million bonus wasn't big enough.

Deeb Salem, a Princeton graduate and former mortgage trader at the bank, claims his massive $8.25 million bonus for 2010 does not reflect his performance and is seeking an additional $5 million in compensation.

Adding to his chagrin, Mr Salem, who told his mother he would receive at least $13 million for the year, argues he was unfairly punished for a series of comments he made in the run-up to the financial crisis that caused the firm "reputational harm".

According to the arbitration filing, the trader argues Harvey Schwartz, co-head of Goldman’s securities division at the time, told him: "We’ve all put things in writing that we should not have. Yours just got unlucky. We’ll make it up to you".

Describing himself as one of the most sought-after investment professionals in the mortgage industry, the 35-year old claims he wanted to leave the firm but Goldman encouraged him to stay by promising even more money and then backtracked. He eventually left the bank in 2012 to join a hedge fund.

A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs described his claims as "utterly ridiculous" and highlighted that Mr Salem made more than $35 million over six years and received a bonus of $15 million in 2009 after being promoted to managing director at the age of 29.