Is Goldman the only place to work?

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Could it be Goldman Sachs is the only place to go if you want to make really big money?

"The typical head of natural resources investment banking at Goldman, who will be a partner, will be earning twice as much as his [or her] comparator at Credit Suisse," says one London headhunter. "Managing directors in the City can't compare their pay to that of Goldman partners - it's a totally different dynamic."

The fact that partners at Goldman Sachs make mega-money is nothing new - but last month it emerged that 'the Firm' had increased its base pay to 300k, twice what most managing directors in the City achieve.

And last week Financial News reported that Gary Cohn and Jon Winkelreid, lieutenants to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, received bigger payouts than the chief executives of Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers.

"Goldman's numbers in corporate finance have been 5% to 10% higher than those at other banks this year," says another headhunter, who asked not to be named. "Last year Morgan Stanley paid 10% to 15% more, and it was always expected Goldman would make up for that."

On the whole, headhunters say the number of bankers earning more than US$10m was higher at Goldman than at any other bank this year. "It wasn't always like this," says the headhunter. "Goldman's pay used to be discounted due to the strength of their franchise, but in the past three years they've been paying at the top of the market."

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