Trump adviser enjoys $100m Goldman Sachs exit

Gary Cohn is severing ties with the investment bank to avoid a conflict of interest...

Trump adviser enjoys $100m Goldman Sachs exit

Picture by Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images

Former Goldman Sachs president and chief operating officer Gary Cohn will receive a hefty financial handshake as he jumps ship to join US President Donald Trump's cabinet.

The investment banking group revealed that Cohn is set to earn at least $100m (€93m) in an exit deal that comprises cash and stock that would have been tied up for years had the 56-year-old Ohioan not made the move.

The cash payout will amount to roughly $65m, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission

"Mr. Cohn received a cash payment of approximately $47 million in respect of his LTIP Awards and approximately $18 million in respect of his PSUs [Public Sector Undertakings]."

Restricted shares worth a gross $35m can be added, the Financial Times reports, as well as a further $23m worth of shares freed up due to the lifting of restrictions.

Cohn, who worked at the bank for 26 years, announced his plans in December and is required to divest his Goldman holdings to avoid a conflict of interest. The two parties received guidance from the White House Office of General Counsel and the US Office of Government Ethics on how to sever their ties.

He will now chair the US National Economic Council and act as Trump's top adviser on economic policy. He will be joining two former Goldman colleagues in Washington DC – former partner Steven Mnuchin is the US Treasury Secretary nominee, while former Goldman banker Steve Bannon is Trump's chief strategist.

During the race for the Republican nomination last year, Trump had said of his rival, Texan senator Ted Cruz:

"I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over him. Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton."

Trump stated of Cohn's appointment:

"As my top economic adviser, Gary Cohn is going to put his talents as a highly successful businessman to work for the American people.

"He will help craft economic policies that will grow wages for our workers, stop the exodus of jobs overseas and create many new opportunities for Americans who have been struggling."

Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein commented in December:

"I am confident that Gary will bring his many talents and expertise to the White House and will do his part to make our economy stronger for all Americans.

"Gary and I have been partners for more than 25 years, so I know better than perhaps anyone that he has the intelligence, commitment, and experience to be successful at any endeavor he undertakes. We will miss Gary at Goldman Sachs, but I believe the American people and the President-Elect are fortunate that he has chosen to serve his country."