NEW YORK (MainStreet) Wall Street bonuses are notoriously lucrative, but for at least one former trader, perhaps not fat enough. Deeb Salem, a former Goldman Sachs trader, is suing the firm in a petition filed last week in New York's State Supreme Court, claiming his $8.25 million dollar bonus was inadequate. A previous claim brought before FINRA arbitration was denied.
According to a Bloomberg report, Salem expected his 2010 bonus to top $13 million, claiming to have made more than $7 billion for Goldman Sachs as a trader in its mortgage securities department. He had scored a $15 million bonus the year before, a year in which he was more highly compensated than the firm's chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein. Salem left the firm the following year after a paltry $3 million bonus motivated his move to a hedge fund.
"Let's be very clear: I was one of the most sought-after investment professionals in the mortgage industry," Salem said during the Feb. 25 FINRA hearing, according to Bloomberg. "I had the opportunity throughout the course of my career and throughout -- from that day, from almost every month that I was at Goldman, to leave for other opportunities."
Salem claims his compensation was slashed because of those comments.
"These claims are utterly ridiculous, which is why they were rejected by a FINRA panel, and unworthy of any further response," Tiffany Galvin, a spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs said, according to Bloomberg.
Salem was paid more than $35 million over six years, according to testimony at the hearing. His claim originally sought more than $20 million in unpaid compensation, but his suit now seeks $9.5 million plus 41,000 shares of Goldman Sachs stock as deferred compensation.