``As we do every year, we are reviewing the performance of the bottom 5 percent of our people and some number of them will be leaving the firm,'' said Lucas van Praag, a spokesman for the New York-based company. ``In most years we ask a significant percentage of that 5 percent to leave''
Goldman earned a record $11.6 billion last year after skirting the subprime collapse that caused historic losses at competitors such as Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch & Co. and Bear Stearns Cos. Banks and brokers have eliminated more than 25,000 jobs in the past six months as they racked up $136 billion of writedowns and credit losses tied to mortgage securities.
``This is about performance, not layoffs,'' van Praag said of Goldman's job cuts.
The firm set aside more than $20 billion in compensation for its 30,522 employees last year, or an average of $661,490 per person, the most of any Wall Street firm.