Goldman Sachs employees will receive lower-than-expected average pay of $430,700 this year, 14% less than last year’s average of $498,246, Bloomberg reports. Estimates prior to the release of the numbers pinned the figure around $450,000, according to the Independent. The bank’s compensation and benefits expense, which equals 39% of 2010 revenue, was $15.4 billion in 2010: 5% lower than the year prior and also lower than the Independent’s $16 billion estimate. Revenue also decreased 13%, and the Wall Street Journal notes that the stock price is slipping in pre-market trading.
One analyst notes that 2010 compensation marks the second-lowest level in Goldman’s history; its lowest level ever, 36% of revenue, was in 2009—which was just two years after compensation hit an all-time high for Wall Street. Though this year’s figure still sounds high, the analyst notes that “Goldman must balance the need to pay its employees fairly based on their performance along with the public perception of its activities.”