It's Goldman Sachs' fourth quarter results day. Cue excitement: after a bad third quarter, fourth quarter revenues were $1bn higher than expected. Net profits for the full year rose 8% on 2012. Average pay decreased a mere 4% to $384k.
However, not all Goldman bankers will be drinking Bollinger when their bonuses are revealed. Today's results conceal some pain. Some Goldman people will be drinking Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut, or so we like to think.
Goldman Sachs increased its headcount by 500 last year. The bank has a stated strategy of adding people in "high value locations" like Salt Lake City and Mumbai, where talent is cheap. Many of these 500 hires are likely to be drinkers of Prosecco, or lemonade.
It wasn't a great year for rates trading at Goldman Sachs, or anywhere else. "Significantly lower revenues" in interest rate products contributed to a 13% year-on-year decline in fixed income sales and trading revenues. Rates traders can expect significantly lower bonuses to match. FX traders probably won't be paid too well either.
Like many other banks, Goldman's been increasing its emphasis on asset management. It's sort of paid off, sort of. Last year, net revenues in Goldman's asset management business rose 5%, mostly thanks to a 7% increase in management fees following an 8% increase in assets under management.
However, while Goldman's equities assets under management rose 36% last year, it's alternative investments under management fell 6%. Worse, the performance-based incentive fees which usually pay bonuses in the asset management division fell by 6%.
Although Goldman's 'investing and lending' business which makes investments of the firm's own money on behalf of the firm itself had a good 2013, a small subsection of the business didn't. The 'other' category, which includes everyone making non-debt and non-equity investments, experienced a revenue decline of 8%. Veuve Monsigny to follow.
It was a good year to work in debt capital markets, where revenues rose 21%. This was mostly due to leveraged finance, said Goldman. Leveraged financiers must be pleased.
Goldman had a gigantically good year in ECM. While ECM revenues at JPMorgan and Bank of America rose by 45% and 46% respectively, ECM revenues at Goldman rose by 68%. U.S. technology banker Anthony Noto can expect very special treatment: last year Goldman worked on the high profile Twitter IPO after missing out on top technology deals in the years preceding.
Goldman's private equity professionals will feel they deserve something. Revenues in the 'equity securities' line of Goldman's investing and lending business rose 40% in 2013, to $3.9bn. This includes revenues earned from investing Goldman's money in both private equity and in publicly quoted equities. Private equity professionals reportedly had a particularly good fourth quarter.
It doesn't say so in Goldman's results, but the firm has just been declared a 'Great Place to Work' by Fortune Magazine. This counts for a lot in terms of employer brand and Goldman has been tweeting its achievement (fairly) furiously. Senior HR managers can feel pleased with themselves. They may also expect to be compensated for their achievement.