Goldman offering mortgages as perks to bonus-less bankers

With cash bonuses still in — relatively — short supply in the aftermath of the recession, Goldman Sachs seems to be doing its part to limit the cutbacks’ impact on luxury real estate. Gawker took a look at New York City property records this week and found that Goldman started lending to individual residential property owners in mid-2008, just as the financial system was beginning to collapse. There were 17 instances in total where Goldman is listed as the secured party on residential property transactions in the city; half of those involved employees of the firm. In late October 2008, managing director Oliver Frankel took out one such “hassle-free” mortgage from his employer for a co-op in Tribeca’s 34 Leonard Street, where units were selling between $2 million and $8 million earlier that year. Goldman has also granted loans to managing director T. Clark Munnell for his $6.6 Million Park Avenue apartment, to banking technology manager Lancelot Braunstein, who bought a $2.1 million co-op in September, and to vice president Justin Lee for his $1.9 million Chelsea apartment, among others. Terms of the mortgages are not public, but the company recently told the Wall Street Journal that it has allowed “a small number of employees” to take out mortgages, that they carry normal interest rates and that they must be paid back. Gawker did uncover the terms of one particularly high-profile mortgage, though. Rodney Martin, the chief operating office of AIG’s life insurance unit was lent $4 million in April 2008 for a $4 million apartment at 15 Central Park West, courtesy of new neighbor and Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s company. The 30-year mortgage had a 4.8 percent interest rate and was interest-only for the first 10 years. [Gawker]

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