Louis XIV famously said, "L'etat, c'est moi," letting everyone know his centrality in France. Bruce Wasserstein needs no such pithy quotes to broadcast his dominance over Lazard: just look at his compensation-which, at $41 million, is more than one-quarter of the advisory firm's full-year 2007 profit of $155 million.
Is anyone else on Wall Street worth that much? Deal Journal took a look at how much Wall Street CEOs took in last year, expressed as a percentage of net income their firms produced last year. And the CEOs can thank Le Wasserstein for actually making them look underpaid.
Here are a few other Street stalwarts, ranked in order. All of them fall well below Wasserstein's take, when measured as a percentage of net income.
2. Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers, with a $40.1 million pay package, took home the equivalent of about 1% of his firm's $4.1 billion in net income-a price shareholders may be happy to pay to avoid the Writedown Ebola going around.
3. Lloyd Blankfein, for instance, received a $67.9 million compensation package that is only 0.5% of Goldman's $11.59 billion of net income in 2007.