There are raises, and then there’s the kind of raise that happens if you make partner at Goldman Sachs.
"It literally becomes a huge compensation event," says Mitchell Peskin, a partner at Execu|Search Group, a recruiting firm. "I mean a very large raise, and I mean the ability to now participate in the Goldman Sachs Partnership bonus pool."
If the pool is large enough, Peskin says, partners can make millions. Goldman Sachs didn’t respond to a request for information, but just the salary for a partner at the firm is estimated to be around $1,000,000.
“If money is important to you, and I would say it is to most people that work on Wall Street, it’s as good as it gets,” says Peskin.
Making partner means you’ve made it, and Goldman wants partners to feel that way, says Dr. Michael J. Driscoll, a clinical assistant professor of finance at Adelphi University.
“Because they want to keep the best and brightest, they don’t want them going to private equity firms, they don’t want them launching hedge funds on their own, possibly taking client contacts away from Goldman,” he says.
Plus, with the increased scrutiny and regulation that Wall Street and investment banks have come under in the last few years, Driscoll says there's an increased fear that talent will seek a landscape that's less under the noses of regulators.
Still, Driscoll believes partners shouldn't get too comfortable: "You’re not a made man for life; this isn’t the Mob." If partners fail to produce, says Driscoll, they could lose their title.
"But I don’t think people are shedding too many tears for those that are un-partnered, they’ll be just fine."