NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Six equity analysts have departed Goldman Sachs and the company has dropped coverage of about 50 stocks, CNNfn has confirmed Thursday.
The six analysts to depart are: Howard Shapiro, who covered mortgage and thrifts; Mark Weintraub, who covered paper; Rich Greenfield, who covered media; Jon Dorfman, who covered Canadian telecom; Gordon Lee, who covered some Latin American conglomerates and cements; and Tim Newington, who covered Canadian media.
Among the high-profile companies the six covered were AOL Time Warner (AOL: Research, Estimates), parent of CNN/Money, and Dow Jones industrial component Walt Disney Co. (DIS: Research, Estimates), which were covered by Greenfield; Dow component International Paper Co., (IP: Research, Estimates) which was covered by Weintraub; and mortgage financiers Fannie Mae (FNM: Research, Estimates) and Freddie Mac (FRE: Research, Estimates) as well as thrift Washington Mutual (WM: Research, Estimates), which were covered by Shapiro.
"Because some analysts were taken off and new analysts assigned, we are temporarily suspending coverage of some companies," Goldman spokesman Peter Rose told Reuters. "We expect when new analysts begin, only a modest number of companies will not be covered."
A source at Goldman told CNNfn that the departures were not due to any regulatory concerns, but were a result of "tough business."
In addition, the company cut CEO Henry Paulson's 2002 compensation package by 36 percent, according to a regulatory filing Thursday.
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Paulson, 56, joins rival CEOs, such as Citigroup Inc.'s Sandy Weill and Philip Purcell of Morgan Stanley, in being lighter in the wallet than last year. He pocketed a total package worth $12.1 million, including a $6.3 million bonus, according to the company's proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2001, Goldman paid him $18.9 million, with a bonus of $11.6 million, making it Paulson's third pay cut in a row.
Goldman cut Paulson's cash bonus and stock options grant but handed him $2.6 million in restricted stock awards, compared with no stock awards in 2001.
The firm had cut about 4 percent of its staff, or about 900 jobs, in the fourth quarter due to a downturn in the financial markets. But Goldman Chairman Peter Sutherland told a business conference at Madrid's Complutense University earlier this month that most of the cost cutting moves by investment banks had been completed.
Goldman agreed with securities regulators in December to pay $110 million to settle charges of conflicts of interests in its research department. It was part of an overall $1.44 billion settlement between the top Wall Street firms and regulators -- a settlement that was reported Wednesday to be showing signs of unraveling.
--from staff and wire reports