Two Irishmen among new Goldman Sachs partners

Fergal O’Driscoll and Colin Ryan join elite partnership of global investment bank

 Goldman Sachs partners typically earn a base salary of about $900,000
Photograph: Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs partners typically earn a base salary of about $900,000 Photograph: Bloomberg


Irishmen Fergal O’Driscoll and Colin Ryan have joined 76 other employees in being inducted into the elite partnership of the global investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Mr O’Driscoll attended Trinity College Dublin before joining the Wall Street bank’s London arm, which is chaired by Irishman Peter Sutherland.

Mr Ryan studied at University College Dublin and is based in San Francisco.

The bank yesterday disclosed the name of 78 new partners, who bring the firm’s total partners up to 467.

Base salary

It is understood that Goldman Sachs partners typically earn a base salary of $900,000, but they also share in the bank’s bonus pool, which means that their annual earnings can be severalmultiples of basic pay.

Other new partners announced yesterday nclude Owen West, who was given the moniker “most badass banker on Wall Street” by Business Insider and Kunal Shah, an Indian-origin managing director who has become the youngest Goldman partner at age 32.

Former US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson and Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, are former Goldman Sachs partners. The partnership is a lingering vestige of Goldman’s time as a private firm, when partners pooled their own money to support trading and investment banking, and split resulting profits or losses. Although Goldman went public in 1999, the partnership remains an important part of its culture. A team of senior partners spends months interviewing colleagues of the candidates. They are asked about “commercial excellence,” shorthand for work ethic, client relationships and ability to deliver revenue to the firm over the long term.


The selection process, known as “cross-ruffing” in reference to a bridge move that exposes weaknesses in other players’ hands, is legendary at Goldman and time-consuming for those involved: each candidate’s vetting requires a couple thousand discussions.

Becoming a Goldman partner is not only a status symbol. It comes with more responsibility and higher pay. Partners have a higher base salary than other employees, get to share in a special pool of bonus money each year and get perks like the ability to invest in lucrative Goldman-managed funds.

On Wednesday morning, the newly-minted partners received a personal phone call from either Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein or chief operating officer Gary Cohn. One long-time partner remembered receiving the call years ago, in which Blankfein said, “I’m sure you’re wondering what’s on the other side of the curtain. Well, it looks exactly like the side of the curtain you’re on right now, but the expectations are much higher.”

(Additional reporting, Reuters)