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"Save for retirement" is the mantra of every financial adviser.
Gregory Palm, general counsel at Goldman Sachs, doesn't need that advice. He is retiring with about $500 million in company stocks, dividends, and distributions.
That's what happens when you get in early on a going concern. At Goldman Sachs, no employee will ever hold so many shares again.
Palm joined Goldman 26 years ago, before the company went public. He owns upwards of one million shares, more than anyone else at the firm.
He intended to retire last year, but stayed on during an investigation into a Malaysian investment fund. In 2010, he defended claims the bank misled investors in mortgage securities, which resulted in a $550 million fine.
"Not sure we ever solved a problem completely, but we always had a collegial relationship," said Elliot Spitzer, who cracked down Wall Street banks as New York Attorney General.
Spitzer told Bloomberg that an entity as big as Goldman will always have issues pop up. He said Palm will "deservedly go out with plaudits."
"Unexpected Cash Squeeze"
Palm's nest egg ranks him among the wealthiest corporate lawyers in America. According to reports, it almost didn't happen that way.
In 2008, Palm had an "unexpected cash squeeze" when the bank bailed him out. The firm bought up some of his illiquid stakes for $38 million, allowing him to hold on to his stocks.
Karen Seymour, co-general counsel, will be the leader of the firm's legal team after Palm leaves.