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Goldman Sachs trims partner list to help cut expenses

A Goldman Sachs sign is seen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 16, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A Goldman Sachs sign is seen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 16, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc has cut the number of employees it lists as partners to help streamline expenses.

Goldman has reduced the number of partners to 407, down 31 from February, the bank said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, without identifying the partners that had been dropped.

Becoming a Goldman partner is a coveted title on Wall Street because of its prestige and lucrative compensation. Fewer partners were named this year because of a broad decline in Goldman's staff levels.

Since the end of 2010, the investment bank has cut 3,100 employees from its payroll, shrinking its workforce by 9 percent.

From 2011, dozens of partners have left the investment bank, including some high-profile executives such as David Heller and Ed Eisler, two co-heads of Goldman's securities business.

In April, Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said 15 to 20 percent of Goldman partners typically leave the firm every two years.

Last month, Viniar said the bank has already finished most of a cost-saving program that aims to reduce annual expenses by $1.9 billion, by cutting staff and other non-compensation expenses.

Goldman has set aside $10.97 billion for compensation so far this year, a 10 percent increase from a year ago. That equates to $336,442 per employee, up 15 percent from $292,836 per worker during the first nine months of 2011.

Harvey Schwartz will take over from Viniar, the longest-serving CFO on Wall Street, at the end of January.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad and Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Ryan Woo)

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